9 Bundesliga kids who you'll soon know about in 2016/17
6. Mitchell Weiser (Hertha Berlin)
Having learned at and then left Bayern Munich, Weiser has blossomed in Berlin. The right-back has shown his attacking talent as well as his defensive improvements, and is really benefiting from playing regularly.
At 22, this season is huge for Weiser. He hasn’t been at Hertha long, but he’s already the outstanding player in the team and it won’t be long before bigger clubs do more than just take note of Weiser’s talent. He's a Germany U21 regular, but the question will soon be how long Joachim Löw can ignore his development.
Defensively, his interception rate is high – he averages nearly three per game – yet Weiser still has the legs to contribute in attack. Pep Guardiola’s fingerprints remain, and that has left Hertha Berlin with a very exciting talent.
7. Josip Brekalo (Wolfsburg)
His idol is Cristiano Ronaldo and his rapid development so far suggests much more is to come from Brekalo
The 18-year-old winger impressed in pre-season with his courage on the ball and desire to go for goal. Although still a little raw defensively, the Croatian continues to gather plenty of experience. He scored at the U19 Euros in 2015 and has already played for his country’s U21 team.
Surrounded by talented attacking players at Wolfsburg, Brekalo is in the perfect place to continue his development. The hope is he can use his dribbling talent to make more of an impact and get more playing time. His idol is Cristiano Ronaldo, and while Wolfsburg haven’t unearthed Croatia’s version of the Portuguese superstar, his rapid development so far suggests much more to come. Links with Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund might linger for a while yet.
8. Marcel Sabitzer (Leipzig)
The 22-year-old is a strong and successful dribbler whose playmaking abilities are growing with each game
A whole host of talents will be on show at Leipzig this season, but ever-present Austrian attacking midfielder Marcel Sabitzer is maybe the best.
The 22-year-old is a strong and successful dribbler whose playmaking abilities are growing with each game. Sabitzer is also perfectly suited to Leipzig’s style, as his counter-attacking threat is regularly on show. There's plenty of room to improve his passing and finishing yet, however, and Sabitzer’s development isn’t over despite his teenager years being well behind him.
His versatility – the forward has played left and right wing as well as up front – is also valued. Sabitzer joins the ranks of talented Austrian players who have successfully made the transition to German football (albeit via a loan spell at RB Salzburg), and his season should be fun to watch. If reports are to be believed, that's exactly what Liverpool and Manchester United will be doing.
9. Maximilian Philipp (Freiburg)
Born in the capital, Philipp took a long road through various youth teams before getting his chance at Freiburg. While early-season predictions are always dangerous, the 22-year-old already looks a much-improved player than the one who was here last time Freiburg were in the top flight.
Philipp knows when to take on defenders, possess a fantastic long-range shot (see his goals vs Gladbach on matchday two) and is strong in the air. He recently made his debut for Germany’s U21s and there’s no doubt that this season will be defining for him.
What’s most exciting about the youngster is that he can play with both feet, which makes his positive style of play even more fun to watch. With the lingering concern of an ankle injury seemingly behind him, his play could well be one of the reasons Freiburg survive this season.