bundesliga.com brings you the lowdown on five 20-somethings that have already established themselves as Bundesliga stars in their own right...
The Spanish attacking full-back, who joined FC Bayern München in the summer from Valencia CF, has wasted no time in establishing himself as a first-team regular at the Allianz Arena. Bernat has already started five Bundesliga matches as well as both of Bayern's 2014/15 UEFA Champions League games to date, showing the faith head coach Pep Guardiola puts in the 21-year-old. His impressive performances in Germany have also earned him his first call-up to the senior Spanish side.
Turkish international Calhanoglu (20) joined Bayer 04 Leverkusen from Hamburger SV in the summer, having enjoyed a very successful debut Bundesliga year in the north. The Mannheim-born playmaker has already scored one and made two in the league for his new club, as well as contributing goals in Bayer's Champions League play-off against FC Copenhagen and their impressive group match win against SL Benfica.
It has been a difficult start to the 2014/15 season for VfB Stuttgart, but one bright spot is the continued development of Rüdiger. The tall and rangy centre-back, in the Germany squad for the upcoming UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers, has had to assume greater responsibility than you'd normally expect of a 21-year-old, but has largely risen to the challenge, showing some of the stability and consistency he was at times lacking last term.
FC Schalke 04 youngster Meyer - who hadn't even blown the candle out on first birthday cake when Germany won UEFA Euro 1996 - has been a key part of the Royal Blues' attacking midfield this season, despite his club's topsy-turvy form that resulted in Jens Keller's sacking as coach. The 19-year-old grabbed Schalke's opener in their first win of the season away to SV Werder Bremen and played an equally important role in the derby win over arch rivals Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 6.
Hannover 96's 20-year-old wide man Bittencourt has featured in every game so far this term and was a key factor in the Reds' promising start, his match-winning display on the opening day against Schalke helping his side get off the mark in style. The son of Brazilian former FC Energie Cottbus attacker Franklin Bittencourt has also been one of Hannover's more consistent performers during their recent dip in form, in which Tayfun Korkut's men have lost three of their four last games.