The German Bundesliga is attracting some of Europe’s hottest prospects, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise. It is, after all, a technically sophisticated league with wildly passionate fans, and the prospect of gaining sizeable game time is as good a reason as any to avoid say, the Premier League, where youth development is often stifled at the hands of financial gain.
Here’s 5 of Europe’s hottest prospects who will be looking to impress in the Bundesliga this season:
The Frenchman has recently completed a move from Ligue 1 side Stade Rennes to Borussia Dortmund for a fee of £11.7m. That could well be a bargain price for the 19-year-old, who scored an impressive 12 goals in 29 appearances in France last season, including one assist. Essentially a right winger, Dembélé has also been known to play in a central attacking midfield role and on the left. He has represented France at U17, U18, U19 and U21 level, and has been linked with Manchester United and Premier League champions Leicester City.
After impressing in the Portuguese Premeira Liga with Benfica, where he made 36 appearances in their Championship and League Cup winning 2015/16 season, Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich beat off competition from Manchester United to sign Sanches for £29.75m. Now a European Championship winner at the ripe old age of 18, Renato Sanches starred at the tournament for Portugal in central midfield, which would have left other Goliaths of European football wondering why they didn’t do more to secure his signature.
The durable 20-year-old attacking midfielder spend last season on loan at Sporting Gijon from Barcelona, where he contributed three goals and five assists in thirty-six appearances. Barca signed the Croatia international from Dynamo Zagreb in 2014, and would have no doubt seen shades of Lionel Messi in his style of play (he is left footed). He went on to make thirty appearances for Barcelona B, and has since been sold to Hamburger SV with a buyback clause in the region of €10m. He will be looking to put the disappointment of being left out of Croatia’s Euro 2016 squad behind him.
Born in Denmark but a Turkish international, the 19-year-old right-winger has been snapped up by Borussia Dortmund from FC Nordsjælland. After a mere 13 appearances for the Danish club, Dortmund liked what they saw and have taken a punt on Mor for a fee of £4.25m. He represented Denmark at U17, U18 and U19 level, before making the decision to play for Turkey, for whom he has played four times. He was part of Turkey’s Euro 2016 squad, and has signed a contract with Dortmund until 2021.
Already a three-time Swiss Super League winner with Basel, the powerful 19-year-old centre forward will be looking to emulate that success in the Bundesliga with Schalke 04, who have secured his services for £18.70m. He scored 21 times for Basel in 61 appearances, and has represented Switzerland fourteen times, contributing one goal. Embolo can also play in midfield, which has drawn comparisons to France and Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kanté.