Dejan Joveljic, Jean-Philippe Mateta, Bernhard Tekpetey, Josh Sargent and Abdelhamid Sabiri are all young and hungry for 2020. - © DFL
Dejan Joveljic, Jean-Philippe Mateta, Bernhard Tekpetey, Josh Sargent and Abdelhamid Sabiri are all young and hungry for 2020. - © DFL
bundesliga

Wonderkids to watch in 2020: Part I

Borussia Dortmund new boy Erling Haaland, RB Leipzig and USA's 'Mr Versatile' Tyler Adams, and Bayern Munich's surprise striking success Joshua Zirkzee are just some of the youngsters set to take the Bundesliga by storm in 2020.

bundesliga.com has picked out a fledgling talent from each of the German top-flight's 18 clubs that we expect to make a major impact on the Rückrunde.

In Part I, we pick out six young players from clubs in the bottom third of the table who will hope to help their clubs in 2020.

Dejan Joveljic

Age: 20
Position: Striker
Club: Eintracht Frankfurt
19/20 Bundesliga appearances (goals): 4 (0)

A Serbian forward, once of Red Star Belgrade, with a slow start to his career at Frankfurt…Sound familiar? Luka Jovic scored eight times in 22 appearances, and just once in his opening seven matches, in his first season in Germany before exploding in his second with a 17-goal haul which eventually earned a move to Real Madrid.

Joveljic will be hoping to get a step ahead of his predecessor and make an impact in the Rückrunde barely six months after stepping into the Bundesliga.

Dejan Joveljic (c) has the support of fellow Serbian teammates Mijat Gacinovic (l.) and Filip Kostic (r.) at Eintracht Frankfurt. - imagoimages

Joveljic is only 20, the same age Jovic was when he became the youngest Bundesliga player to score five goals in a game in Frankfurt's 7-1 win over Fortuna Düsseldorf in October 2018. If anything, the talent Joveljic showed in Belgrade - which earned him a five-year deal in Germany - meant he arrived in Frankfurt with expectations of outdoing his compatriot.

Given time, he may well just do that. With the goals proving harder to come by for Goncalo Paciencia, Andre Silva and Bas Dost, 2020 could be Joveljic's year.

Jean-Philippe Mateta

Age: 22
Position: Striker
Club: Mainz
19/20 Bundesliga appearances (goals): 3 (1)

Fourteen goals and an ever-present tag was a magnifique return from the Frenchman's first season in the Bundesliga, but it's devastating what a serious knee injury can do for you and your club…

Watch: Mateta's hat-trick vs. Freiburg last season!

A pre-season training session left Mateta with a torn meniscus in his right knee, and the prospect of many months on the sidelines. He returned to play a brief cameo in the Matchday 15 defeat to Borussia Dortmund, and came off the bench in his club's remaining Hinrunde matches, even scoring in the Matchday 16 demolition of Werder Bremen before the winter break.

With a winter training camp replacing what he missed in pre-season, Mateta should hit the Rückrunde ready to remind Bundesliga fans and defenders alike of what they've been missing without him.

Ismail Jakobs

Age: 20
Position: Left-back/Left winger
Club: Cologne
19/20 Bundesliga appearances (goals): 6 (1)

Cologne fans may have mixed feelings about Achim Beierlorzer's tenure of their club's first team, but they will surely thank him for one thing: convincing Jakobs to stay.

The fledgling talent was considering a summer move before Beierlorzer talked him out of it, telling him he had a place in the side. A thigh injury in pre-season delayed that promise coming to fruition, but it has come true even though Beierlorzer has since been replaced by Markus Gisdol.

Once fit, he featured in all but one of the Billy Goats' closing seven league matches of the year, and with fellow prodigy Noah Katterbach playing at left-back, Jakobs excelled further up the pitch.

From an unfamiliar position on the left wing, he even scored his maiden Bundesliga goal in the incredible come-from-behind win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 16, and has been nominated for December's Rookie of the Month award alongside two teammates. The first of many for this local boy come good?

Bernhard Tekpetey

Age: 22
Position: Forward
Club: Fortuna Düsseldorf (on loan from Schalke)
19/20 Bundesliga appearances (goals): 8 (0)

Schalke were convinced by the iconic Gerald Asamoah to bring Tekpetey to Germany, and are so enamoured with his talents they have actually signed him twice, having astutely inserted a buy-back clause in the deal that took him to Paderborn for the 2018/19 season.

Bernhard Tekpetey is looking to impress both his current club Fortuna Düsseldorf and parent club Schalke during 2020. - imagoimages

That in itself is enough to suggest the Ghanaian forward has the potential to click impressively into gear in the Rückrunde for Düsseldorf, where he is in the first year of a two-season loan. With his club sporting the joint-lowest 'goals for' tally in the top-flight table, Düsseldorf will be keeping their fingers crossed he does.

Josh Sargent

Age: 19
Position: Striker
Club: Werder Bremen
19/20 Bundesliga appearances (goals): 11 (2)

Bremen gave what was described as a "long-term extension" to their USA international forward in February 2019, a clear sign that they believe Sargent - as coach Florian Kohfeldt himself said - is "someone who wants to watch and learn, [and] not just a very talented young footballer."

With Claudio Pizarro also in the Green-Whites' squad, Sargent has the perfect role model, and with two league goals from 11 appearances - as many as he scored last season having already played one game more than 2018/19 - he is well on his way to fulfilling Kohfeldt's other prediction that he will "become a very important part of the squad."

Watch: Sargent's stunning goal vs. Augsburg!

A muscle injury cut short his Hinrunde and competition for a place with Yuya Osako means Sargent will have to hit the Rückrunde running, but if he does, look out Bundesliga. You just have to remind yourself of his wonder-goal vs. Augsburg to see his variety of talents.

Abdelhamid Sabiri

Age: 23
Club: Paderborn
19/20 Bundesliga appearances (goals): 10 (2)

It's not easy to stand out in the Bundesliga at the best of times, so for Sabiri to do so in a struggling team is testament to the talent of the Morocco-born, Germany-raised attacking midfielder.

That quality took him to England where David Wagner, now the Schalke boss, coached him at Huddersfield Town, but the Germany U21 international's opportunities there were limited.

Watch: Sabiri's October Goal of the Month contender!

The Yorkshire club's loss is proving Paderborn's gain, and the two goals - both of them stunners (vs. Frankfurt, and vs. Düsseldorf) - Sabiri has scored this term show just why the Bundesliga newcomers were so happy to sign him to a three-year deal last summer.

"That shows his interest in long-term development," the club's sporting director, Martin Przondziono, said after closing the deal. With Paderborn bottom of the table at the halfway stage, Sabiri will need to produce more moments of magic from midfield to ensure that progress continues in the top flight.

Click here for Part II of our wonderkids!

Click here for Part III of our wonderkids!