Even bigger things are expected of Dayot Upamecano, Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland, Leroy Sane and Krysztof Piatek (l-r.) in 2020/21. - © DFL
Even bigger things are expected of Dayot Upamecano, Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland, Leroy Sane and Krysztof Piatek (l-r.) in 2020/21. - © DFL
bundesliga

Top 5 players to watch in 2020/21: Sane, Haaland, Lewandowski, Upamecano and Piatek

With the 2020/21 season fast approaching, bundesliga.com looks at five must-watch players ahead of the new campaign: Leroy Sane, Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski, Dayot Upamecano and Krzysztof Piatek.

Leroy Sane

Position: Winger
Club: Bayern Munich

Six years on from making his Bundesliga debut as an 18-year-old in the royal blue of Schalke, Germany international Sane is back in the German top-flight.

After four hugely successful seasons in England with Manchester City - where the 24-year-old twice won the English Premier League - Bayern made their move in what already looks like the signing of the summer in the Bundesliga and beyond.

A tear to his anterior cruciate ligament limited Sane to just 11 Premier League minutes of a sole 2019/20 league appearance but his return of 20 goals and 26 assists across City’s title-winning campaigns of 17/18 and 18/19 - his most recent full seasons - indicate Bayern have injected even more potency to their attacking ranks, which is a terrifying prospect for the rest of the league.

Erling Haaland

Position: Striker
Club: Borussia Dortmund

As if created in a lab, the 20-year-old is a goal-scoring freak of nature and, as he said himself, Haaland is not normal.

After all, it is not normal for someone - especially so young - to score 13 goals in their first 15 Bundesliga appearances or to hit hat-tricks on both their Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League debuts - but Haaland did just that last season.

Watch: Erling Haaland's 20-minute hat-trick on his Borussia Dortmund debut

All told, Haaland struck 16 times in 18 games for Dortmund after joining the club from Austrian outfit Red Bull Salzburg in January, and the Norway international will be gunning for Lewandowski’s top scorer's cannon in his first full Bundesliga campaign.

Robert Lewandowski

Position: Striker
Club: Bayern Munich

Lewandowski - who always makes for compulsive viewing - will be in no rush to give up the gong and goes into his 11th year in Germany having celebrated a decade in the Bundesliga with his most prolific season yet.

The clinical Poland captain ended 2019/20 with a league-high 34 goals as Bayern successfully defended their title, with their tormentor-in-chief retaining the Torjägerkanone trophy that he has taken home four times in the past five years.

Watch: All 34 of Robert Lewandowski's Bundesliga goals in 2019/20

Already Bayern’s record non-German scorer and second-highest goal-getter on the club’s all-time list, Lewandowski now has 236 Bundesliga goals - a staggering haul that is only bettered in league history by Klaus Fischer (268) and fellow Bayern legend Gerd Müller (365).

Dayot Upamecano

Position: Defender
Club: RB Leipzig

One man with the unenviable job of stopping the other players on this list is Leipzig defender Upamecano, and the 21-year-old has already proven more than up for the task over the course of his burgeoning career.

The young Frenchman is physically imposing and was involved in eight of Leipzig’s 10 Bundesliga clean sheets last year, reaffirming his reputation as possibly the best young centre-back in the world.

Dayot Upamecano (c.) is heading into his fourth full season in the Bundesliga with RB Leipzig - at 21! - Sebastian Widmann/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

Upamecano was rewarded for his performances with a new contract that will take his Leipzig stay to at least 2023 and it is clear coach Julian Nagelsmann sees him as a central figure - both literally and figuratively - in the club’s pursuit of a maiden Meisterschale, having finished third last season.

Krzysztof Piatek

Position: Striker
Club: Hertha Berlin

Piatek’s emergence was similar to Haaland’s in both its suddenness and impressiveness, with Lewandowski’s international teammate scoring 13 times in his first 19 games at Italian Serie A outfit Genoa after making the switch from his native Poland in 2018.

That breakout year saw Piatek bag nine of those goals in his first seven matches and European giants AC Milan wasted no time in moving for the now 25-year-old. They were immediately rewarded for their investment as he scored five times in his first five matches in black and red.

Krzysztof Piatek hit his straps for Hertha Berlin during the latter part of 2019/20. - Florian Pohl/City-Press GmbH

Just as Dortmund looked to Haaland for added firepower in January, so too did Hertha in the shape of Piatek, who went on to score four goals in 15 Rückrunde appearances. With the Pole now settled in the capital, he, too, will be coming for Lewy’s crown.