Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele (l.) is one of the hottest prospects in world football. - © © gettyimages / Koepsel
Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele (l.) is one of the hottest prospects in world football. - © © gettyimages / Koepsel

The Bundesliga's Top 20 Under 20: Part IV

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, 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...

- © imago / DeFodi

Ousmane Dembele

Date of birth: 05/05/1997

Club: Borussia Dortmund

Position: Right wing

Bundesliga appearances so far: N/A

- © gettyimages / Stuart Franklin

Dembele has not been around for long, but he already goes about his work with the confidence and quality of a seasoned professional. The 19-year-old France Under-21 international finished top scorer for Ligue 1 outfit Stade Rennais FC with 12 goals in 26 appearances in 2015/16, and that after waiting until Matchday 14 to be handed his full debut. His style appears unhurried at first glance, but do not let that fool you. His lithe runs and ever-improving end product will be a real boon for Thomas Tuchel's new-look Dortmund.

- © imago / Sportfoto Rudel

Bakery Jatta

Date of birth: 06/06/1998

Club: Hamburger SV

Position: Forward

Bundesliga appearances so far: N/A

- © imago

The chief protagonist of a story that belongs on the silver screen, Jatta is living proof that anything is possible. "I grew up without parents, I knew I had to take this difficult and dangerous path of escape if I wanted to have a chance to have a future," the 18-year-old said of his upbringing in Gambia and his decision to make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to mainland Europe a year ago.

After arriving in Italy, he made his way to northern Germany, where he trained and studied at a Bremen youth academy run by former boxer Lothar Kannenberg, and somehow managed to convince Bundesliga ever-presents Hamburg to give him a trial. Despite never having played for a club in his life, the fledgling forward was offered a three-year deal. Outsiders know very little about him as a footballer, but it is fair to assume he will play with a drive and determination like no other.

- © imago / Sven Simon

Emre Mor

Date of birth: 24/07/19967

Club: Borussia Dortmund

Position: Right wing

Bundesliga appearances so far: N/A

Christian Pulisic

"I talked to Bayern about Sanches three months ago and agreed that he's exactly what we need," admitted FC Bayern's new head coach Carlo Ancelotti upon his arrival in Bavaria. High praise indeed of a youngster who is set to battle for position with the likes of Arturo Vidal, Xabi Alonso and Thiago Alcantara.

Despite the powerful, ball-carrying midfielder enjoying a strong season with SL Benfica in which he gained invaluable experience, the move was still seen as a risk by many. However, the German record titleholders' investment already seems a prudent one. Since the move was confirmed, Sanches has won a domestic double, been hailed as one of Portugal's heroes at UEFA EURO 2016, where he became the youngest-ever winner of the tournament, and was named as UEFA's Young Player of the Tournament. Sanches, it seems, will not have too many problems slotting into Bayern's star-studded line-up.

Date of birth: 18/09/1998

Club: Borussia Dortmund

Position: Left wing

Bundesliga appearances so far: 9

Only the most ardent of Dortmund supporters would have been able to tell you a thing or two about academy prospect Christian Pulisic when he travelled with the first-team for a winter training camp in Dubai last season. Fast forward to the end of the campaign and the teenager could almost have been considered a household name, both in Germany and his native United States. After becoming BVB's third-youngest debutant behind Nuri Sahin and Ibrahim Tanko in a 2-0 win over FC Ingolstadt 04, Pulisic went on to make nine appearances, breaking a Bundesliga record in the process.

"His strengths are his mentality, his pace and his skills," BVB U-19 head coach Hannes Wolf told Soccer America at the end of 2015. Technical ability and an enviable work ethic were qualities that awakened the interest of USMNT head coach Jürgen Klinsmann, who not only handed him an international debut at 17 years of age, but also named him in his squad for Copa America Centenario, where the US finished fourth. A potential heir to the departed Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pulisic may have an even bigger part to play for Die Schwarz-Gelben next season.

Watch: Christian Pulisic, Dortmund's wonderkid

Click here for part I

Click here for part II

Click here for part III