Boasting an average age of 23, these Bundesliga stars could be the future of the Germany national team. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
Boasting an average age of 23, these Bundesliga stars could be the future of the Germany national team. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

Under-21 winners and Confederations Cup champions: could this be the Germany team to win the 2022 World Cup?

With a European U-21 crown and maiden Confederations Cup in the bag, Germany's enviable strength in depth and apparently endless reserves of young talent have been on show once again this summer.

Goalkeeper:Timo Horn(Cologne)

Accordingly, has selected 11 of the country's stand-out future stars who could inspire Die Nationalmannschaft to future glory...

As Cologne a thoroughbred as Hennes VIII himself, Horn's break came out of his hometown club's heartache. Relegation from the Bundesliga in 2012 meant the then 20-year-old was thrust in at the deep end and made first-choice goalkeeper. Promotion, a UEFA Europa League spot with the Billy Goats, almost a century of Bundesliga appearances later and Horn's assured displays en route to a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics mean he cannot be far from Joachim Löw's radar.

Right-back: Mitchell Weiser (Hertha Berlin)

With the genes of his father Patrick, a former pro with Cologne and Wolfsburg among others, Weiser had a headstart. Still, the know-how gleaned from nearly three years at Bayern Munich, including two under Pep Guardiola, and 16 top-flight appearances with the record Bundesliga champions is now serving him well as he allies that experience with time on the pitch in the capital. The versatile right-sided player underlined his talent with a fantastic header to win Germany the U-21 crown in Krakow in June.

Centre-back:Niklas Süle(Bayern Munich)

If Bayern sign a centre-back, it is not for his ability to find Row Z. Süle heads to Bavaria from Hoffenheim to start a five-year deal during which he will surely establish himself a first-choice for club and country. Part of the Olympic silver medal-winning squad in Rio and the 2017 Confederations Cup champions, Süle is well on the way to the very top.

Watch: Süle developed into the prototype modern centre-back at Hoffenheim

Centre-back:Jonathan Tah(Bayer Leverkusen)

With a Hamburg past and an imposing build, drawing parallels between Tah and Jerome Boateng is inevitable. The two centre-backs share another trait: the inability to countenance conceding a goal. Though Tah may still need to hone his distribution skills, his none-shall-pass ethos is already rock-solid and he was called up to the UEFA EURO 2016 squad.

Left-back: Benjamin Henrichs (Leverkusen)

The 2016 Fritz Walter Under-19 gold medal winner, like Die Werkself team-mate Tah the year before, Henrichs' versatility to be able to play in either full-back position recalls that of Philipp Lahm. And like the Bayern legend, his talented feet remain on the ground as his career takes off: "My friends see it, and it's a bit strange for them as I'm still the same Benny I was a year ago," Henrichs said.

Defensive midfielder:Julian Weigl(Borussia Dortmund)

"Julian Weigl is going to be a world-class player," said Toni Kroos, who should know a quality midfielder when he sees one. Seemingly impervious to pressure and a mature, calming influence that belies his tender years, Weigl's potential partnership with Kimmich sets the mouth watering. Missed this summer's successes due to an ankle injury, but will no doubt return stronger at BVB in 2017/18.

Defensive midfielder: Joshua Kimmich (Bayern)

The 2016/17 campaign may not have been as as happy for the Bayern man as his breakthrough season the previous year, but the qualities that once wowed Pep Guardiola remain intact. His ability to feature across the back four or midfield without his performance dropping off is a rare, highly-prized commodity. Löw clearly thinks so — he took him to UEFA EURO 2016 and Kimmich wore the armband at the 2017 Confederations Cup, impressing from right-back throughout the tournament.

"Semi-finals and a very special moment in my career"

Attacking midfielder:Julian Brandt(Leverkusen)

The baby-faced features allied with fiendish footballing ability provoke echoes of Mario Götze, and Brandt is looking almost as precocious as the Dortmund man once did. Part of Löw's extended squad ahead of UEFA EURO 2016, Brandt did not make the final cut — come 2018, it is not likely to happen again, and the thought of how good he will be in Qatar in 2022 is spine-tingling for fans and terrifying for opposition defences.

Attacking midfielder: Leon Goretzka (Schalke)

Bochum legend and Goretzka's former youth coach, Dariusz Wosz, called the foraging midfielder "an exceptional player, such as I have not seen in a long time." Schalke fans have seen what Wosz did since Goretzka moved to Gelsenkirchen in 2013. That he was given the captain's armband at the Rio Olympics says as much about his leadership qualities as his talent; Goretzka was one of the players of the tournament at the Confederations Cup, and even outscored a certain Cristiano Ronaldo at the tournament.

Watch: the exceptional Goretzka is motoring through the midfield gears

Attacking midfielder:Serge Gnabry(Bayern Munich)

A talented hurdler, athletics' loss was football's gain when Gnabry opted for studs rather than spikes. Though in five years with Arsenal in England he barely featured in the first team, the forward-thinking midfielder's development under the esteemed eye of Arsene Wenger enabled him to hit the ground sprinting in Bremen, before sealing a move to Bayern Munich ahead of 2017/18. Scored once and featured in every game as Germany won the U-21 crown in Poland.

Forward: Timo Werner (RB Leipzig)

Leipzig has proven the perfect place for Werner to flourish, embellishing the good first impression he had made when he emerged at Stuttgart. His keen eye for goal has earned him immediate recognition from Löw, who has said that the striker will "have a good career in the Nationalmannschaft." The 21-year-old has gone some way to proving him right so far, finishing top scorer at the Confederations Cup with three goals.

Watch: Timo Werner his 21 goals for Leipzig in 2016/17, here are five of his best

Click here to find out how Germany could send four (!) squads of talent to the 2018 World Cup