If you've been impressed by Borussia Dortmund academy graduates like Christian Pulisic and Mario Götze, prepare to be stunned by another outrageously gifted youngster in the BVB stable: Youssoufa Moukoko.
At the age of 12 (do not rub your eyes, yes we did say 12) in October 2017, the striker was the hero of the hour against Schalke, netting a stunning Revierderby brace as the BVB U17s recovered a three-goal deficit to draw 4-4, and put his name on the back pages.
The Cameroon-born prospect, now 14, finished the season with 40 goals as Dortmund won the B-Junioren Bundesliga West (West Germany’s top U17 league), before lifting the national title with decisive goals from Moukoko in the semi-final against Bayer Leverkusen and final against Bayern Munich.
Watch: Moukoko's wondergoal, scored against Leverkusen!
Moukoko, who was born in Cameroon on 24 November 2004, joined Dortmund from Bundesliga 2 side St. Pauli in 2016 and immediately hit the ground running.
In 2016/17, he was top scorer in the club's all-conquering U15 side, netting 33 times in 21 games to help them win the Regionalliga West title with five matches to spare. His performances did not go unnoticed by the German FA, who called him up for the U16's 3-1 win over Austria last September.
"It remains to be seen whether or not this will be an extraordinary crop of players," said Peter Wazinski, Moukoko's coach with the U15s. "But we hope that the majority of them will develop in a similar way to the group born in 1998." That includes current first-team members Pulisic and Jacob Bruun Larsen, as well as reserve team players Janni Serra and Dario Scuderi.
The signs remain strong, though, with Moukoko enjoying another magnificent campaign in 2018/19. With the league season drawing to a close, he’s netted a remarkable 36 goals in 21 appearances, in which the 14-year-old has captained the side three years his senior on 11 occasions.
He’s only failed to score on four occasions in Dortmund’s unbeaten campaign that sees them top of the table and on course to qualify for the finals. He’s bagged five braces, four hat-tricks and netted four on two occasions against FC Hennef and most recently Preußen Münster. Figures like that have led to suggestions he may soon be promoted to the club's U19s.
While it may be a few more years until Moukoko makes the step up to the pros, the teenager already has big plans for his BVB career. “My goal is to become a professional with Dortmund, win the Champions League with Borussia and win the Ballon d’Or,” the striker told SportBild.
Dortmund’s director of youth, Lars Ricken, however, has been quick to urge caution about Moukoko’s future. “He’s only allowed to play with the first team when he turns 17,” he said. “So we staying calm for now and don’t forget that when we judge his performances.”
Nuri Sahin remains Dortmund's and indeed the Bundesliga's youngest-ever player at the age of 16 years, 11 months and one day. Should Moukoko feature for the first team by the start of the 2021/22 season, he could break that record by a couple of months.