Ten teenagers looking to make their mark in the Bundesliga Rückrunde

The Bundesliga season always sees the emergence of some fantastic young talents with the German top flight clubs never afraid to give youth a chance if they show the promise required. Recent seasons have seen the emergence of supreme talents like Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, Mathys Tel and Youssoufa Moukoko. Here we take a look at ten teenagers looking to follow their example in the upcoming Rückrunde.

Samuel Bamba (Borussia Dortmund)

Borussia Dortmund II are no strangers to nurturing striking talent for the BVB first-team with the case of Youssoufa Moukoko the best example. This season has seen another teenage striker making the jump to the Schwarzgelben first-team with Samuel Bamba being handed two brief substitute appearances by Edin Terzic. 

He is no means as prolific as Moukoko was, but in his two cameos against Augsburg and Mainz he made a good impression and with Sebastien Haller away with the Ivory Coast on African Cup of Nations duty, he may be called upon again once the Rückrunde restarts.

Max Finkgräfe (Köln)

The inability to delve into the transfer market to strengthen and freshen up a struggling Köln squad may lead new coach Timo Schultz to turn to some of the club’s youngsters instead. One such player, who has been pushing his way into the first-team is 19-year-old left back Max Finkgräfe, who made his Bundesliga debut in the Hinrunde.

After a few substitute appearances, Steffen Baumgart started him against both Freiburg and Union Berlin. He has the ability to play a bit further forward as a wing back and can also do a job in defensive midfield if called upon. Dane Rasmus Carstensen was signed in the summer as the first-choice left back, but Finkgräfe has shown he is not overawed by the step up. 

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Aleksandar Pavlovic (Bayern Munich)

Breaking into the Bayern first-team as a youngster is always going to be incredibly difficult with the array of expensive talent available to the trainer, but 19-year-old Aleksandar Pavlovic has managed to do just that this season and has left behind a very favourable impression. 

With Joshua Kimmich suspended and Leon Goretzka injured, Thomas Tuchel handed the youngster his first Bundesliga start against Heidenheim after previously using him as a brief substitute earlier in the season. He made two further starts against both VfB Stuttgart and VfL Wolfsburg. 

Bayern’s selling of Ryan Gravenberch and failure to land Palhinha in the summer raised a few eyebrows about how they were covered in midfield, but with Pavlovic in reserve they knew they had a Plan B. He has shown he can mix it at this level and will now want to push on.  

Yvandro Borges Sanches (Borussia Mönchengladbach)

The 19-year-old Luxembourger made his Bundesliga debut as a sub last season against Freiburg and remains on the edge of the Foals squad ready to take his chance when given. He has made three substitute appearances this season and provided the assist that led to the final goal in the opening day 4-4 draw with Augsburg. 

Without a Bundesliga start as yet, the attacker already has 23 caps and three goals for his country at international level. His time to shine in the Bundesliga is surely nearing. With Rocco Reitz showing that Fohlen youth can prosper, Borges Sanches will want to be the next to emerge from the club’s stable.

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Elias Baum (Eintracht Frankfurt)

The 18-year-old defender was a surprise inclusion in Frankfurt’s Europa Conference League squad this season and made his first sub appearance in the group stage win at HJK Helsinki. He has since progressed to making two brief cameos in the Bundesliga against Bayern and Leverkusen.

The Adler are reported to be looking to strengthen their defence in the transfer window, but in Baum, Dino Toppmöller knows he has a talented option, who is versatile enough to occupy a number of roles. 

Umut Tohumcu (Hoffenheim)

The 19-year-old has gone from being a ballboy at the club, to being on the verge of becoming their next breakout star. The attacking midfielder has made three starts so far this season and has impressed with his passing and dribbling abilities. 

He was the ballboy, who back in 2017 threw the ball quickly to Andrej Kramaric to score against Bayern Munich and now he is looking to provide the killer passes for the Croatian striker at the Sinsheim club. 

Damion Downes (Köln)

Another young ‘Effzeh’ talent hoping to benefit from the club’s transfer embargo is German-American forward Damion Downes. With the Billy Goats ending the Hinrunde with the lowest number of goals scored amongst the 18 Bundesliga clubs (just ten), some fresh impetus is certainly needed in the striking department.

He made his Bundesliga debut as a late sub on matchday 5 against Werder Bremen and made two subsequent sub appearances.  The five strikers used so far this season haven’t exactly set the world on fire, so new coach Timo Schultz could opt to go with youth. 

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Nelson Weiper (Mainz)

The emergence of Brajan Gruda at Mainz this season shows that the club are willing to call upon their talented youth players and after bursting onto the scene last season scoring his first goals against Borussia Mönchengladbach and Werder Bremen.

This season has seen him make one start and two substitute appearances, but with Ludovic Ajoque (one goal), Karim Onisiwo (no goals) and Marco Richter (on goal) not exactly prolific, he will want to be given more chances in the second half of the season by new coach Jan Siewert, who knows him very well from the youth teams.

Fabio Chiarodia (Borussia Mönchengladbach)

The Italian-German defender made his first Bundesliga start last season for Werder Bremen against Mönchengladbach and the Foals were suitably impressed enough to sign the 18-year-old in the summer for €2 million.

He has made five substitute appearances so far this season under new Gladbach coach Gerardo Seoane and is itching to get more opportunities to prove his worth. He has appeared in all three of Borussia’s Pokal matches this season and will be targeting a final appearance at the Olympiastadion in May. 

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Kofi Amoako (VfL Wolfsburg)

Midfielder Amoako’s consistently high levels of performance earned him the captaincy of the Wolfsburg U-19 team and he has subsequently been drafted into Nico Kovac’s first-team squad. He made his Bundesliga debut right at the end of the matchday 15 win at Darmstadt and has got a taste for the big time.

He will have to be patient, but if he can maintain his form with the U-19’s then Kovac will no doubt have the belief to hand him further opportunities in the Bundesliga. He has been included in the club’s winter training camp which looks to be an encouraging sign for his Rückrunde prospects. 


About Mathew Burt 1053 Articles
Former writer at Goal.com and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball