Lukas Klostermann isn't the first Bundesliga-based full-back with world-class potential, but he might be the only one of his kind to play for RB Leipzig and Germany, whilst studying for a degree in economics along the way.
bundesliga.com reads up on the life and times of Germany coach Joachim Löw's first-choice right-back, shaped in the Bundesliga with Leipzig...
Club: RB Leipzig
Country: Germany (eight caps)
Klostermann played for Gevelsberg and Hagen, before making the step up and joining the Bochum youth team that once fostered the talents of now Germany teammate Leon Goretzka. The 6'2" full-back was handed his professional debut during the latter part of Bochum's 2013/14 Bundesliga 2 campaign, and was even voted the club's Player of the Month for May. After contract talks reached an impasse, the native of Herdecke - a town south of Dortmund in Germany's industrial Ruhr district - was snapped up by Leipzig in summer 2014.
Klostermann enjoyed his first of over 140 senior appearances for the club in the 2014/15 DFB Cup, and went on to become a staple of the side that earned a maiden promotion to the Bundesliga the following year. After recovering from a knee ligament injury that limited him to just one league outing in 2016/17, he netted his first Bundesliga goal in a 2-1 win against Cologne on 1 October 2017, while his five-strike haul in 2018/19 was a league-high among defenders. The Leipzig No.16 is yet to be sent off in over 200 appearances for the U17s right through to the pros.
Klostermann's talents have translated seamlessly onto the international stage. He rose to prominence at U21 level, where he moonlighted as team captain on four occasions, and helped the side earn a silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. The former U17 and U19 international was also part of the squad that finished runners-up to Spain at the 2019 UEFA U21 European Championships, appearing at the finals three months after making his senior international debut in a friendly against Serbia. He started six of Germany's Euro 2020 qualifiers, and also faced Argentina in friendly action.
Plays a bit like: Stephan Lichtsteiner
In terms of build and playing style, Klostermann is in the Stephan Lichtsteiner mould. Switzerland international Lichtsteiner is currently using his wealth of experience to help Augsburg in their fight against relegation to Germany's second tier, but was renowned during his Juventus days for exploiting his sizeable frame and pace to overload opposition left-backs and pin down wide players. It's a potent ploy the marauding Klostermann has nailed down to a tee.
Did you know?
Although Klostermann could conceivably play at the highest level for at least another 10 years - Lichtsteiner is still going strong at 35 - he's unlikely to be fretting when the time comes to hang up his boots. The Germany up-and-comer ticked a high-school diploma off his to-do list before turning pro, and even studied economics at the University of Hagen. He was also a guest speaker alongside former Leipzig coach and sporting director Ralf Rangnick, as part of a motivational talk with students of the city's university in November 2017.
What they're saying
"It's by no means a given that someone plays so well on his international debut. He played with tempo and did his job defensively." - Löw following Klostermann's Germany debut in the 1-1 draw with Serbia
"Lukas can play on both sides of the back four, and he's a winner." - current Leipzig coach, Julian Nagelsmann
"Lukas is one of the five biggest talents in Germany. He's not just quick - he's turbocharged!" - former Germany U21 and Olympics 2016 coach, Horst Hrubesch
"He deserves to play for Germany!" - Rangnick