With four goals and four assists, Lewis Holtby helped Germany reach the UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals
With four goals and four assists, Lewis Holtby helped Germany reach the UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals

Bundesliga stars on the rise

Munich - Israel will provide the setting for some of the Bundesliga's brightest up-and-coming talents to showcase their talents next summer, after Germany booked their place at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals with a play-off victory over Switzerland on Tuesday evening.

Holtby express

Captained by Schalke 04's inspirational midfielder , who opened the scoring for Rainer Adrion's side, Germany ran out 3-1 winners against their hosts in Lucerne, wrapping up a 4-2 aggregate success after the first leg in Leverkusen had ended all-square.

The young DFB select now take their place in next year's eight-nation tournament, which in the past has provided a stepping stone to greater things for many a talented prospect. bundesliga.com takes a closer look at who could soon be knocking on Joachim Löw's door for entry into the senior side.

Already an integral part of Schalke's prolific three-pronged front line alngside Jefferson Farfan and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, little more need be said about Holtby beyond his own current exploits out on the pitch.

As if three goals in seven Bundesliga appearances - as many as team mate and last season's Torkanone winner Klaas-Han Huntelaar - were not enough, the 22-year-old marked his final appearance at this level - he will be too old to play next summer - with his fifth goal in nine qualifiers. With two full caps already to his name, Holtby can certainly expect to add to that tally in the none-too-distant future.

Foals at a canter

While Borussia Mönchengladbach coach Lucien Favre may have lamented the departures of Marco Reus, Roman Neustädter and Dante in the summer, he clearly has a wealth of talent coming through with and Peniel Mlapa both playing fundamental roles in Germany's qualification for the finals. Mlapa netted eight goals in ten appearances while Jantschke was practically an ever-present at the heart of the defence.

Nuremberg coach Dieter Hecking is relying more and more heavily on Sebastian Polter, who netted four goals in as many appearances for the under-21s en route to Israel, and VfL Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath will be rubbing his hands too at the prospect of getting a finished article back from his loan spell in Franconia next summer.

Behind the Beist.

has yet to open his account for Hamburger SV, despite figuring in their first six games of the season, but with four goals and three assists in nine games for the under-21s, coach Adrion is well aware of his precocious talent. It may thus not be long before the Imtech Arena is has another idol to put on a pedestal alongside the recently returned Rafael van der Vaart.

The foundations also look solid, with Bayer 04 Leverkusen custodian Bernd Leno the latest of a flourishing production line of young German goalkeepers which has already delivered Ron-Robert Zieler and Marc-Andre ter Stegen to the senior squad. Just ahead of Leno, Eintracht Frankfurt defender Sebastian Jung is also making waves in the Bundesliga, while Moritz Leitner has already shown Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp that he too can be relied upon in an already star-studded selection.

Together with the likes of 1.FC Nuremberg's Alexander Esswein and Jan Kirchhoff of 1. FSV Mainz 05, they will all be looking to follow in the footsteps of ter Stegen and Ilkay Gündogan, who were both involved at the start of the qualifying campaign, but have since become regulars in the senior Germany set-up.

Foreign legion

Not only Germany will provide Bundesliga talent in Israel, however. Havard Nordtveit provided further proof that there is a burgeoning future in Mönchengladbach as he helped Norway overturn a 1-0 deficit to oust France while his fellow Foal fired the Netherlands into the finals with a penalty.

Hamburg's Jacopo Sala netted a goal in Italy's successful qualifying campaign while his clubmate Jeffrey Bruma was in the Dutch team, with de Jong, which secured their place with victory over a Slovakia side featuring Nuremberg's Robert Mak. All of which ensures that the Bundesliga will be very healthily represented next summer when the stars of the future parade themselves on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Ben Gladwell