Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic leads the way in a team of teenage stars shining brightly in the Bundesliga. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic leads the way in a team of teenage stars shining brightly in the Bundesliga. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

Christian Pulisic, Jadon Sancho, Kai Havertz and the Bundesliga Teenage XI

Already part of the Bundesliga furniture - although you likely have furniture older than them - players such as Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz and Dayot Upamecano are already first-team regulars with their clubs. The likes of Weston McKennie, Jadon Sancho and Jann-Fiete Arp look set to join them, meanwhile, having recently broken through as well. What do they all have in common? They're all teenagers shining in the Bundesliga. Is there a stronger collection of 90s and noughties kids anywhere in the world?


Christian FrüchtlBayern Munich

Date of birth: 28 January 2000

A prolific goalkeeping prospect, Früchtl was given the opportunity to train with Bayern’s senior side at just 15. Now, two years later, the 6ft 3in tall teenager suddenly finds himself second choice behind custodian Sven Ulreich, with mainstay Manuel Neuer absent with a foot injury. So paramount was Früchtl’s importance to the German champions this season, he missed out in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in India to remain on call should Ulreich suffer an untimely a setback.


Panagiotis Retsos - Bayer Leverkusen

Date of birth: 9 August 1998

After impressing during 20 top-flight Greek games with Olympiacos, Leverkusen moved to bring 19-year-old 'Panos’ - as he likes to be known - to the BayArena. Already a senior international with Greece, the versatile South Africa-born defender can play across the back four and his been used in the centre and on the right by Werkself coach Heiko Herrlich this season. "The Bundesliga is one of the best leagues in the world," Panos enthused following his arrival in Germany.

Dayot Upamecano-RB Leipzig

Date of birth: 27 October 1998

A giant at just 18, the giant French defender - previously on the books at Red Bull Salzburg - has made a colossal impact on the Bundesliga. Having offered cover for injured club captain Willi Orban last season, the Évreux native is now Ralph Hasenhüttl's preferred partner for Orban at the heart of the defence. Boasting pace and power to go with his tough-tackling skills in the Bundesliga, the France Under-19 international has also been ever-present in Leipzig’s maiden UEFA Champions League campaign.

Dan-Axel Zagadou-Borussia Dortmund

Date of birth: 3 June 1999

With BVB captain Marcel Schmelzer injured, Dortmund turned to their 6ft 4in central defensive summer acquisition from Paris Saint-Germain to fill the significant void left by the captain at left back. The France Under-19 captain excelled, repaying coach Peter Bosz’s trust by helping Dortmund to become the Bundesliga’s meanest defence earlier this season. "He's playing out of position but he's doing very well. He's pretty quick despite his size and he's got good technique," Bosz said of Zagadou, a player destined for greatness.

Watch: Zagadou was the Bundesliga Rookie of the Month for September

Ricky van Drongelen–Hamburg

Date of birth: 20 December 1998

After discovering Jonathan Tah, Hamburg took the plunge on another young defender they expect big things of by signing Ricky van Drongelen from Sparta Rotterdam in the summer. "He's a young player with great potential," said chairman Heribert Bruchhagen. "Our coach and sporting director worked very hard to bring him here." His first two outings for the Red Shorts showed exactly why. His fearless approach and iron-headed determination at left-back had a Tah-like aura to it, and with his authority and presence, nobody would have guessed he is 'only' 18.

Central Midfielders

Dennis Geiger - Hoffenheim

Date of birth: 10 June 1998

“For a 19-year-old, he’s a really cool customer,” coach Julian Nagelsmann said of his teenage sensation who has excelled following the departure of midfielder Sebastian Rudy to Bayern. With the help of his assured passing and eye for goal – Geiger hit the target for the first time in the top-flight when Hoffenheim beat Schalke on Matchday 6 – the Sinsheimers have been scaling similar heights to those of 2016/17.  "He's an extraordinarily good footballer and I'm delighted for him,” Nagelsmann added.

Weston McKennie-Schalke

Date of birth: 28 August 1998

Yet to make his senior USA bow, time is on the side of Schalke’s midfield powerhouse McKennie, who has made immense progress under young coach Domenico Tedesco this season. Earning his Bundesliga debut last season, the Texan has been racking up the minutes in 2017/18, and was rewarded with new five-year contract at the Royal Blues for his efforts to date.  "I love the club and everything here: my teammates, the head coach and the fans. I'd love to stay here forever," the 19-year-old said.

Watch: Introducing Weston McKennie (credit: FC Schalke 04)

Attacking Midfielders

Christian PulisicBorussia Dortmund

Date of birth: 18 September 1998

Still only 19, it somehow feels like American star Pulisic has been around for a very long time. Now in his third season at the Signal Iduna Park, the USA attacker is a mainstay under coach Bosz, who has fielded the Hershey teen 13 times across all competitions this season. Although unable to achieve a place at next summer’s FIFA World Cup, Pulisic has nonetheless been purring for a Dortmund team that burst out of the blocks at the beginning of the current term.     

Kai Havertz–Bayer Leverkusen

Date of birth: 11 June 1999

A scorer of four goals and provider of six assists in 24 Bundesliga appearances was a hugely impressive achievement for a youngster still at school last term. Yet it all seems to be taken in Havertz’s stride, the 18-year-old seemingly oblivious to the pressures that often haunt the modern day senior pro. Serving up a spectacular three assists in Die Werkself's 5-1 mauling of Borussia Mönchengladbach earned the attacker a Man of the Matchday win. Surely a small sign of even greater things to come this term for the Germany Under-19 captain.

Jadon Sancho–Borussia Dortmund

Date of birth: 25 March 2000

At just 17, Sancho became the first Englishman to play for BVB when coming on to make his maiden appearance in the Bundesliga during the 2-2 draw away to Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 9. The former Manchester City schemer slipped into the departing Ousmane Dembele’s No7 shirt after the winger’s departure to Barcelona, and Sancho seems determined to make as big an impression on Dortmund’s fans as the French favourite once did. The Londoner made a memorable impact for England the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, scoring three times in the tournament’s group stage before returning to add to Die Schwarzgelben’s squad options soon afterward.


Jann-Fiete ArpHamburg

Date of birth: 6 January 2000

An outstanding goalscorer on the international stage, it seems only a matter of time before Arp begins breaking Bundesliga opponents’ hearts for HSV. A debut in Germany’s top division arrived this season against Werder Bremen, while the tall and strongly built striker was a marvel at the 2017 UEFA Under-17 Championship, scoring two-hat-tricks in four matches in Croatia. The 17-year-old followed that with five goals in as many games at the FIFA U17 World Cup in India. “He’s intelligent, very skilful, has a great header and is a leader,” Germany coach Christian Wück said of Arp.

Click here for the first part of the Bundesliga's Teenage Kicks series!