Summary

  • Leipzig's Werner has hit the ground running since joining from Stuttgart.
  • Dortmund duo Dembele and Pulisic two of world's hottest prospects.
  • Leverkusen's Brandt has enjoyed a sensational year.

The Bundesliga has long been known as the world's foremost destination for football's young stars, and 2016 has proved no exception.

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RB Leipzig's Timo Werner, Borussia Dortmund duo Christian Pulisic and Ousmane Dembele, Bayer 04 Leverkusen's Julian Brandt and 1. FSV Mainz 05's Levin Öztunali have all enjoyed breakthrough years in 2016. Time to take a closer look at their achievements...

Timo Werner (RB Leipzig), 20

Werner left hometown club VfB Stuttgart in summer 2015 after their relegation and joined RB Leipzig, who sit over the winter break. Werner has played a key role in the promoted side's rise up the standings, scoring nine goals in the first half of the season - the joint-best German goalscorer (alongside TSG 1899 Hoffenheim's Sandro Wagner) in the top flight.

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Timo Werner has spearheaded Leipzig's charge up the Bundesliga table this season. © gettyimages / Boris Streubel/Bongarts

Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), 18

The USMNT youngster broke a host of records during a remarkable 2016. He became the youngest USMNT player ever to start a FIFA World Cup qualifier; the youngest ever to score a goal, and the youngest ever to hit a brace in the same competition. More records fell on the domestic front: Pulisic was the youngest footballer to score two goals in the Bundesliga, striking against Stuttgart at the end of 2015/16, before also becoming the youngest player to represent Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League, in a 6-0 victory over Legia Warszawa in September.

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Ousmane Dembele (Borussia Dortmund), 19

Dembele was awarded the Best Young Player in France prize for his efforts in 2015/16, before joining BVB from Stade Rennais FC during the summer. The winger ontinued his remarkable rise by making his debut for France in September and ended his first half-season in the Bundesliga with a fine return of four goals and seven assists, as well as earning the Bundesliga's December Player of the Month prize.

Dembele (c.) has made a name for himself in the Bundesliga by terrorising defences across the country. © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA / Lukas Schulze

Julian Brandt (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), 20

Brandt became only the second teenager in Bundesliga history to score in six successive games towards the end of the 2015/16 campaign, a scoring run that helped propel Die Werkself into the UEFA Champions League. The attacking midfielder has found the net twice in the Bundesliga so far this season, as well as returning a further six assists.

Julian Brandt in celebratory mood. © imago / Team 2

Levin Öztunali (1. FSV Mainz 05), 20

The grandson of German football legend Uwe Seeler, Öztunali departed Leverkusen for Mainz this past summer. The attacking midfielder's move was wise: he has featured in 14 of 16 games for his new club so far this season, scoring twice and setting up another two goals. Öztunali also impressed towards the end of last term, helping to steer SV Werder Bremen to safety.

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Öztunali's (l.) move to Mainz has paid dividends for the midfielder. © gettyimages / Boris Streubel