Merlin Röhl's Bundesliga career has taken off at Freiburg. - © IMAGO/Jöran Steinsiek
Merlin Röhl's Bundesliga career has taken off at Freiburg. - © IMAGO/Jöran Steinsiek

Merlin Röhl: Who is the young Freiburg midfield wizard?


Merlin Röhl has been conjuring up some real moments of magic at Freiburg in 2023/24. has the lowdown on the Germany U21 midfield wizard...

*Stats correct as of 6 December 2023

Merlin Röhl

Age: 21
Central/ attacking midfielder
Germany (five U21 caps/ one goal)

Key stats

Röhl's been a regular in the Freiburg midfield in 2023/24, producing his first Bundesliga goal and a pair of assists between Matchdays 10-13. The 6'3" midfielder also opened his UEFA Europa League account with a fine strike in the 5-0 group-stage win over Backa Topola. He's currently among his team's top seven individual players across the season for passes to a shot and goal attempts per 90 minutes, earning a Bundesliga Rookie of the Month nomination for his efforts in November 2023.

Röhl's performances have enabled him to make the leap from the Germany U20s to U21s. He registered an assist on his fourth appearance at that level, before scoring on his fifth, in a UEFA U21 Euro qualifying win against Poland. The Berlin native previously played for Ingolstadt in Bundesliga 2 and Germany's 3. Liga, as well as the club's various youth sections, between 2018 and joining Freiburg in 2022.

Röhl was a first-team regular for Ingolstadt, at the age of just 18. - IMAGO/Stefan Bösl

Plays a bit like: Leon Goretzka

A rangy central midfielder with good feet, an eye for a pass and the opposition goal, Röhl has a similar profile to Bayern Munich and Germany man Leon Goretzka.

Did you know?

Röhl came through the youth ranks at Babelsberg alongside former Freiburg teammate and Germany international Kevin Schade, now of Brentford.

"We knew each other a little back then," Röhl recalled in an interview with Märkischen Allgemeinen. "It was really funny to then be reunited at Freiburg."

Watch: Merlin Röhl is a Rookie of the Month candidate for November 2023

What they're saying

"Merlin's taking big strides after his injury troubles. He's got pace, great movement. He can be a real difference-maker, and he completely identifies with the club." - Freiburg head coach Christian Streich

"He fought his way into [Freiburg's] team. That's not easy. He focused on defensive work and also came into his own offensively. He's very quick and determined. He's very dangerous." - Germany U21 head coach Antonio Di Salvo

"Merlin's the complete midfielder. He can do it defensively and offensively." - Röhl's former coach at Ingolstadt, Tomas Oral