They've already hit the ground running in Germany's top-flight, but with the 2018/19 season almost upon us, get ready to see teenage sensations Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz, Weston McKennie, Dayot Upamecano and Jadon Sancho take their game to the next level.
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Position: Winger, attacking midfielder
Bundesliga appearances: 70
As unfathomable as it may seem, Pulisic is set to start what will be his fourth senior campaign with Dortmund, and he's still a teenager. Likely to reach a century of appearances for BVB before he turns 20 in mid-September, the United States star is certain to set the bar high in his attempts to impress a new coach at the Borussia helm. Pulisic scored five goals in each of his last two campaigns, even becoming something of an assist specialist in 2015/16, laying on 13 goals in all competitions.
Watch: Borussia Dortmund's wonderkid, Christian Pulisic!
It is those sort of stats that tactician Lucien Favre will look to entice out of the US Player of the Year in the coming campaign, and one of the game's former greats, Lothar Matthäus, has no doubt that the Hershey native can produce the goods. "He can make a difference at the very highest level," the 1990 FIFA World Cup winner with Germany insisted. Watch Pulisic explode out of the gates when the opening whistle sounds the start of Borussia Dortmund's 2018/19 season.
Club: Bayer Leverkusen
Position: Attacking midfielder
Bundesliga appearances: 54
The youngest ever player to reach 50 Bundesliga appearances, Leverkusen teen Kai Havertz is destined to grab more headlines in 2018/19. Having already scaled the heights with some awe-inspiring performances over the past couple of seasons, the Aachen-born schemer has been going from strength to strength since becoming B04’s youngest debutant in 2016.
Forming a strong off-field bond with teammate Julian Brandt, the two combined – along with a stellar supporting cast – to deadly effect on the pitch last season as Die Werkself developed into one of the division’s most exciting, attack-minded teams. Menacing mainly from a central attacking role, Havertz – who is equally effective out wide – has chalked up seven goals and 15 assists in 54 Bundesliga games thus far ahead of what he hopes will be his finest season to date.
Club: RB Leipzig
Position: Central defender
Bundesliga appearances: 40
Seen as somewhat shy and reserved in his formative years, the teen from the French suburbs has developed into a confident and commanding central defender who seems certain to become one of the best in the world.
Watch: Meet Dayot Upamecano and learn his roots!
If it was at Red Bull Salzburg – where he won a league and cup double - that Upamecano came out of his shell, it was with Leipzig that the former European U17 champion with France grabbed worldwide attention for his many assured performances. The team’s youngest ever Bundesliga debutant enjoyed a second season to remember in 2017/18, scoring Leipzig’s 100th top-flight goal while featuring in 28 Bundesliga games and a further 13 in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.
Position: Holding midfielder
Bundesliga appearances: 23
This looks set to be the season of Weston McKennie. Injury free, now an established member of Schalke’s setup and gunning for success on domestic, European and international fronts, the talented Texan is ready to take the next important step in his blossoming career.
Considering his playing options were limited last term due to a knee injury, McKennie nonetheless managed to appear in 23 Bundesliga games as Schalke finished second. The combative holding midfielder, who rightly feels he has earned the “respect” of the Royal Blue dressing room, can assume the very same when he clocks on for duty with the United States, particularly after opening his goalscoring account for the Stars and Stripes on his senior bow against Portugal.
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Bundesliga appearances: 12
“There was so much pressure on me at such a young age playing in front of the Yellow Wall.” Young English wing supremo Sancho not only faced up to that pressure, he excelled within it. Collecting the No.7 shirt vacated by the departing Ousmane Dembele, the then 17-year-old quickly adapted to his new surroundings to gain a solid base in his first season with Bundesliga giants Dortmund.
Watch: Jadon Sancho's Man of the Match performance vs. Bayer Leverkusen!
“He could be England’s best player one day,” former Bayern Munich and England midfielder Owen Hargreaves once noted, and with season 2018/19 almost upon us, it could well be Sancho’s time to shine. Already a world champion with England at U17 level, the Londoner managed four assists and became BVB’s first English goalscorer and the Bundesliga’s youngest Englishman to find the net last term.