Introducing Max Meyer: the latest starlet to fly off the Bundesliga production line joins an array of young Schalke hopes.
Through the ranks
The attacking midfielder may be fresh-faced and look like the boy next door, but he's already been earmarked to follow in the footsteps of Benedikt Höwedes and Julian Draxler, and lock down a place in the Schalke first team for years to come.
Meyer first hit the headlines as part of the Royal Blues' U-17 side after scoring eleven times and chipping in with ten assists in just 17 appearances. Posting such high numbers, it was little surprise to see the German hot shot promoted to the U-19s with whom he would go on to lift the club's third youth league title.
The next logical step in the youngster's blossoming career saw Meyer make his international debut in time for the UEFA European Under-17 championships. Although Germany ultimately lost the final on penalties to the Netherlands, the then 16-year-old Meyer ended the tournament as top scorer (three).
Eye of a needle
U-19 recognition followed in an unrelenting rise, as did more game time with Schalke. Meyer can play on either flank, but is most at home behind the striker in the classic No10 role. As well as being comfortable on the ball, the Oberhausen native also boasts an unbelievably good eye for a pass.
Mainz 05 found that little nugget of information out the hard way on 16 February 2013, as a certain Meyer stepped off the Schalke bench to tee up Michael Bastos for a priceless equaliser - and on his Bundesliga debut at that. It was a sign of things to come, his first goal, a composed finish, in the hard-knock Bundesliga came against FC Augsburg at the start of the 2013/14 season, after making his UEFA Champions League debut just weeks previously.