Leon Dajaku made two Bundesliga appearances for Bayern Munich, and the promising young striker now hopes to make an impact at Union Berlin after joining them on loan in the January transfer window.
bundesliga.com takes a look at the German-Kosovan forward, who joined Bayern from VfB Stuttgart in summer 2019...
Club: Union Berlin
Country: Germany (6 U19 caps/3 goals) and Kosovo
Born in the town of Waiblingen, just outside of Stuttgart, to Albanian parents, Dajaku had been in the Stuttgart academy since the age of 13 after coming through at Spvgg Rommelshausen and FSV Waiblingen. The teenager scored goals for fun in the VfB youth teams, with his first two games for the U17s seeing him bag two braces followed by two hat-tricks.
Stuttgart finished that 2017/18 U17 Bundesliga campaign second to Bayern only on goal difference, but Dajaku was the league's top scorer with 23 goals to his name. That same year the 16-year-old also featured for the club's U19s, scoring once in eight games, just two days after his 17th birthday.
Stepping up to the highest youth level full time in 2018/19, Dajaku netted 11 times in 24 U19 Bundesliga outings as Stuttgart finished clear winners of the south/southwest division to qualify for the finals, where the forward scored in the semi-final against Wolfsburg and the final defeat to Borussia Dortmund.
Despite league disappointment, 2018/19 was by no means a negative for Dajaku. He earned his first Germany U18 caps and scored on his debut with the only goal of the game for a 1-0 win in Cyprus. That came just a month after he had bagged a brace in the round of 16 of the U19 DFB Cup to knock out future club Bayern. Another two-goal haul followed in the semi-final victory over Freiburg to set up a final clash with RB Leipzig, which Dajaku & Co. won 2-1 to lift the trophy. Those two strikes against Bayern continued a habit he has developed, taking his total against his new club to five in seven games, perhaps explaining the summer 2019 purchase by the record Bundesliga champions.
The teenager also made two substitute appearances for the senior Stuttgart team in the first half of their ill-fated 2018/19 Bundesliga campaign, featuring at Borussia Mönchengladbach and Wolfsburg. He has registered four goals and four assists in 29 appearances for the Bayern reserves in Germany's third tier in 2019/20, and had three strikes and an assist in 14 appearances for the Bavarians' second string this season.
Dajaku was an unused substitute for Bayern in their DFB Cup second-round tie against Bochum in October 2019, but came off the bench to make his senior debut for Bayern in the 91st minute of their 2-0 win over Wolfsburg on Matchday 17, although he didn't actually touch the ball before the final whistle blew. He was given more playing time on Matchday 18 when he took to the pitch in the 80th minute against Hertha Berlin. He appeared in Bayern's DFB Cup first-round victory against Düren this season, playing the last 29 minutes of the 3-0 away win.
Plays a bit like: Marco Reus
Like Dortmund captain Reus, Dajaku is capable of playing across the front line but has also stated his best position is off the main striker in the centre. Quick, nimble and with an eye for goal and teammates, the 19-year-old provides threats from multiple angles. He demonstrates excellent composure in front of goal and over free-kicks, but he also possesses two powerful feet, showing he is capable of smashing the ball home with either his left or his right boot.
Did you know?
The Stuttgart academy is famed for churning out international-quality players, with Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry, Timo Werner, Mario Gomez and Sami Khedira just to name a few, but what about little Spvgg Rommelshausen?
Dajaku could still represent Germany or Kosovo at senior international level and follow in the footsteps of David Yelldell. The former goalkeeper also came through at Rommelshausen before moves to Blackburn Rovers and Brighton & Hove Albion in England, Stuttgarter Kickers, Duisburg and then Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, earning himself a cap for the USA.
What they're saying
"Leon was the first and only player I’ve seen take the ball from kick-off and score straightaway. He’s technically very strong, especially in one-on-ones. A real street footballer." – DFB camp coach Pascal Stöffler
"He's a young boy and he has to learn. He'll take some stick [for making mistakes] but I'll have my arm around him." – VfB Stuttgart head coach Tim Walter