Bayern Munich's Dutch striker Joshua Zirkzee had a game to remember against French side PSG. - © © gettyimages / Jure Makovec / AFP
Bayern Munich's Dutch striker Joshua Zirkzee had a game to remember against French side PSG. - © © gettyimages / Jure Makovec / AFP

International Champions Cup: Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund starlets out to impress

With Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich set to face Juventus and Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund meeting Benfica, runs the rule over five young hopefuls brimming with talent and intent on standing out as their teams' do battle in the United States.

Joshua Zirkzee

Club: Bayern Munich
Age: 17
Position: Forward

There will come a day when the name Joshua Zirkzee will be printed across the back of replica shirts belonging to hundreds of thousands of admiring fans. The Dutch centre forward is making such rapid progress for club and country that even new Bayern coach Niko Kovac fancied a look for himself recently, throwing the rangy, teenage striker into the senior friendly mix against Paris Saint-Germain.

Zirkzee was used to scoring regularly for Bayern's Under-17s last season - netting 16 in 17 appearances and supplying nine assists following his move from Feyenoord. This time around against the French champions, the player who has racked up 10 appearances at youth level for the Dutch national team pulled off a sumptuous goalscoring strike from Serge Gnabry's assist. Not a bad introduction to first-team affairs. Keep an eye out for more from the young man with explosive pace, neat skills and intelligent finishing when Bayern take on Juventus [this Thursday] and Manchester City [29 July] next.

Paul Will

Club: Bayern Munich
Age: 19
Position: Midfield

The one-time Kaiserslautern B-team captain is now at Bayern and ready to prove his credentials as a future engine-room star. Born and raised in the Hessian town of Biedenkopf, Will developed into an ultra-versatile player, capable of commanding performances in central defence or directing proceedings from the middle of the park.

Given the chance to show what he could do for the entire encounter against PSG in Bayern's first pre-season game under Kovac, Will - who weighed in with eight goals and four assists for Kaiserslautern's young Red Devils last term - is keen to show Bayern fans why German media have been referring to him as a Top Talent. "To have this chance with such a big club is a [huge] motivation," the predominantly left-footed youngster said recently.

Jacob Bruun Larsen

Club: Borussia Dortmund
Age: 19
Position: Winger

If step-by-step is the Bruun Larsen mantra, the deadly Danish talent took one more important stride forward when netting BVB's third goal in a 3-1 victory against Liverpool on Sunday. The 19-year-old fired in following some fine work by teammate and close friend Christian Pulisic, a player in whose own footsteps the Scandinavian would love to follow.

Denzeil Boadu (l.) sampled a taste of the International Champions Cup action against Liverpool. - © imago / Icon SMI

"We're confident that his development will follow a similar path to other former A-Youth players such as Pulisic or Felix Passlack," Dortmund Sporting Director Michael Zorc said. Bruun Larsen managed 111 minutes in the Bundesliga last term, debuting for the Black and Yellows before spending the second-half of the campaign on loan at Stuttgart. His slick wing play, astute scoring and assured set-ups also saw the Denmark Under-21 international produce four goals and three assists in five UEFA Youth League games for BVB.

Chris Richards

Club: Bayern Munich
Age: 18
Position: Central defender

What a year it has been for this up-and-coming defender who is living a dream he hopes he will awake from as a star of the world game. Chris Richards had a scent of that life when thrown into the action to replace Javi Martínez during Bayern's warm-up win against PSG, the 18-year-old slotting into defence and helping to ensure the Bundesliga giants didn't concede again against the Ligue 1 outfit.

Having started out his career as a left-sided midfielder before testing his skills at full-back, Richards eventually edged across to find his true home in central defence. Impressing all at Bayern following a ten-day trial, the Hoover, Alabama teen was soon drafted back on loan from FC Dallas, a deal that runs until the end of this year. With a long stint in Bayern's Under-19s ahead, the 6ft 2" defender - who is also hopeful of appearing with the U.S. at next summer's FIFA U20 World Cup - appears primed to make headlines.

Denzeil Boadu

Club: Borussia Dortmund
Age: 21
Position: Attacking midfielder

A player so determined to prove himself at the highest level that he once overcame an injury that not only threatened his career, but also his ability to walk. The inspiring attacking midfielder, Denzeil Boadu. It was while at former club Manchester City that the ex-Arsenal youth spent 20 months recovering from complications to a foot operation but now at BVB, he's ready and determined to show the world what he can do.

The ex-England Under 17 international enjoyed 45 minutes of action in Dortmund's 3-1 friendly win against Liverpool and - after putting in his time with the Bundesliga giants' Under-23s last term - Boadu is out to catch the eye of new coach Lucien Favre ahead of what could well be an exciting 2018/19 campaign for the young Londoner.

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