- Brandt aiming to build on a sensational 2015/16 campaign.
- Christensen already a pillar of the Gladbach defence.
- Werner part of an exciting young team at Leipzig.
Head coaches, club scouts and football fans around the world are always seeking to unearth future superstars of the sport and in the Bundesliga, a league famed for its youth academies and the development of young talent, it is no different.
Which unheard of talent will be the name on everyone's lips? Who is the next Robert Lewandowski or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang? With the 2016/17 campaign fast approaching, bundesliga.com has a four-part series aimed at outlining the top 20 players, 20 years of age or younger, that you should be familiarising yourself with before the season gets underway...
Date of birth: 06/03/1996
Club: RB Leipzig
Bundesliga appearances so far: 95
VfB Stuttgart’s youngest-ever Bundesliga debutant, the third-youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history and the youngest player to reach 50 Bundesliga appearances, Timo Werner has made a habit of turning heads since taking his professional bow three years ago.
His career-best six Bundesliga goals could not prevent Stuttgart from falling victim to the relegation trap door last term, but he joins promoted RB Leipzig with his reputation firmly intact. A creative and pacey forward with a keen eye for goal, the 20-year-old’s best years are still ahead of him.
Date of birth: 15/03/1996
Club: Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Position: Centre midfield
Bundesliga appearances so far: 56
Levin Öztunali returns to Leverkusen with a point to prove following an 18-month loan spell at SV Werder Bremen. The grandson of Hamburger SV legend Uwe Seeler, 20-year-old Öztunali has shown glimpses of the qualities that led Bremen sporting director to label the midfielder as "one of the most sought-after talents in the Bundesliga"– he registered more than half of his total goal and assists count in his last 13 outings as a Bremen player – but now needs to prove he can deliver the goods on a regular basis.
Date of birth: 10/04/1996
Club: Borussia Mönchengladbach
Bundesliga appearances so far: 31
After making a tentative start to his Borussia Mönchengladbach career, Andreas Christensen blossomed into one of the 2015/16 Bundesliga campaign’s most dependable defenders. The Denmark international misplaced only 13 per cent of his attempted passes, while his success rate in the tackle (66 per cent) was bettered only by former Borussia Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels and Hertha Berlin’s Sebastian Langkamp. With statistics like that, Gladbach fans can only hope his current two-year loan deal from Chelsea FC will one day be be made permanent.
Date of birth: 02/05/1996
Club: Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Position: Left wing
Bundesliga appearances so far: 66
Watch: Check out Brandt's beauty in Leverkusen's Top 10 goals from 2016/17
A surprise omission from Germany’s final 23-man UEFA EURO 2016 squad, Bayer 04 Leverkusen wide man Julian Brandt was without question one of the Bundesliga’s most exciting and consistent performers last season. All nine of his 2015/16 Bundesliga strikes resulted in wins, while he became the first player under the age of 20 since Dieter Müller (January-February 1974) to score in six successive matches.
He is agile, creative, quick and already has a goal against FC Bayern München to his name. As long as he is in the side, Werkself fans will believe anything is possible.
Date of birth: 23/05/1996
Club: SC Freiburg
Bundesliga appearances so far: None
New to the Bundesliga scene, Caglar Cöyüncü joins promoted SC Freiburg on the back of his breakthrough season in men’s football. The 20-year-old centre-back made 30 appearances for former club Altinordu SK over the course of the 2015/16 Turkish Second Division campaign, earning praise in equal measures for his aerial prowess and ball-playing abilities.
Bundesliga strikers represent a huge step up in class, but the one-time Turkey international appears ready for the challenge.