8 Young Guns to look out for in the 2019/20 Bundesliga season

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

With the 2019/20 Bundesliga season upon us, FOX Sports Asia football editor Gabriel Tan picks eight bright prospects to keep a close eye on in the coming campaign.

With the summer break over and pre-season done and dusted, the Bundesliga returns this weekend.

The Bundesliga is back… and it’s going to be Skilling It!

The top flight of German football has traditionally proven to be an excellent platform for some of the world’s hottest prospects to showcase their abilities, and the 2019/20 campaign promises to be no different.

Here, FOX Sports Asia looks at eight young guns to keep a close eye on over the next nine months.

1) LUCAS RIBEIRO (HOFFENHEIM)

Kicking off the list is Hoffenheim’s Lucas Ribeiro, a promising Brazilian centre-back who – being strong in the tackle yet assured in possession – has inevitably drawn comparisons with former Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich star Lucio.

 

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Standing at 1.9 metres tall, the 20-year-old only moved to the Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena in January after being named Player of the Year at former club Vitoria, despite playing just half a season.

Considering defenders usually take awhile to mature, it may still be some time before Ribeiro reaches his peak although Hoffenheim’s affinity with Brazilians – having previously had much success with the likes of Roberto Firmino and Joelinton – bodes well for the future.

2) JADON SANCHO (BORUSSIA DORTMUND)

It is staggering to think that Jadon Sancho only turned 19 back in March considering his outstanding form last term, where he notched 12 goals and 14 assists as Borussia Dortmund almost pipped Bayern to the title.

Having shown no signs of being overawed by the big stage, Sancho’s electrifying displays down the wing has seen him emerge as one of world football’s most-exciting talents.

With Dortmund once again aiming for the title this season, the England international should play a pivotal role once more as part of an exciting attack also boasting quality players in Marco Reus, Paco Alcacer and Thorgan Hazard.

3) JOSH SARGENT (WERDER BREMEN)

Expectations of Josh Sargent were always going to be high after he netted with his first touch for Werder Bremen – just two minutes after coming on as a substitute against Fortuna Dusseldorf – to be the club’s fastest-scoring debutant.

So far, the exciting American has done nothing to dispel the notion that he could on to become something big and the 2019/20 campaign could just prove to a breakthrough year for him.

 

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With Werder’s former talismanic striker Max Kruse now departed for Fenerbahce and 40-year-old Claudio Pizarro well into his twilight years, Sargent could just be given a proper chance by coach Florian Kohfeldt to show he has what it takes to lead the line for an ambitious Bundesliga outfit.

4) ETHAN AMPADU (RB LEIPZIG)

Following in the footsteps of Sancho, Reiss Nelson, Ademola Lookman and Recce Oxford, Ethan Ampadu is the latest to leave the Premier League – albeit temporarily – to take the next step in the Bundesliga.

Although he only has one league appearance to his name for Chelsea, the fact that he has already won eight caps for Wales shows just how highly-rated the defender is.

 

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Considering RB Leipzig boasted the best defensive record in the league last season, it will not be easy to break into the starting XI but, should Ampadu impress, he should have no shortage of chances under new manager Julian Nagelsmann.

5) KAI HAVERTZ (BAYER LEVERKUSEN)

Like Sancho, Kai Havertz is a player on this list that needs no introduction especially after a stunning campaign for Bayer Leverkusen that saw him notch 17 goals, despite not playing as an out-and-out striker.

The 20-year-old is looming as a once-in-a-generation footballer, blessed with outstanding skills and perfect technique but also possessing a maturity and intelligence beyond his tender years.

Following Julian Brandt’s transfer to Dortmund in the summer, there is now a chief playmaker void at Leverkusen that could see a change in role for Havertz, although he should have no issues having an influence regardless of where he is fielded in the final third.

6) DAICHI KAMADA (EINTRACHT FRANKFURT)

Having lost Luka Jovic and Sebastien Haller – two-thirds of their much-vaunted attack – over the summer, Eintracht Frankfurt will be looking for others to step up this season in support of Ante Rebic.

New arrival Dejan Joveljic, who has been compared to Jovic, and Goncalo Pacencia have been earmarked as possible options, but the surprise package could come in the form of Japanese attacker Daichi Kamada, who has traded in his old No. 40 jersey for the more “first-team” option of No. 15.

 

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Sent out on loan to the Belgian First Division A in 2018/19, Kamada netted an impressive 15 goals to earn a recall – and potentially an opportunity to impress – at the Commerzbank-Arena.

7) FIETE ARP (BAYERN MUNICH)

Considering Bayern Munich usually field one main striker, who happens to be a certain Robert Lewandowski, Fiete Arp will have to bide his time at the Allianz Arena.

Still, the 19-year-old has shown his ambition by choosing to move from Hamburg this summer rather than waiting another 12 months, and did show positive signs throughout pre-season.

A natural finisher, the future does look exceedingly bright for Arp and there will be no one better to learn his trade from than Lewandowski.

8) ALEXANDER NUBEL (SCHALKE)

Having made just three appearances in his previous three years at Schalke, Alexander Nubel was thrown into the fray midway through last season and went on to displace club captain Ralf Farhmann as first-choice for the rest of the campaign.

Incredibly, the 22-year-old impressed so much that Schalke were not only willing to ship Fahrmann out on loan to Norwich this summer but have also named his successor as the new skipper.


Considering he has come through the ranks at the Veltins-Arena, it should come as no surprise that Nubel has been hailed as “the next Manuel Neuer” and – with the Bayern shot-stopper now 33 – Schalke’s prodigious talent could just go on to take over as Germany’s No. 1 in the future.

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