10 Bundesliga wonderkids looking to make a breakthrough in 2015/16
Bayern Munich may have begun the new Bundesliga season as favourites, but the conveyer belt of young talent in Germany provides an exciting sub-plot to the campaign. Perhaps inspired by the World Cup-winning exploits of the older generation, youngsters across the country will be looking to cement a place in their side and could even be dreaming of Euro 2016.
1. Max Eggestein (Werder Bremen)
Eighteen-year-old Max Eggestein is one of the most quickly developing talents at Werder Bremen. A commanding attacking midfielder who has good passing and vision has stepped up through the club's ranks and is now a firm fixture in the first-team squad. He looked a little unripe in his first Bundesliga start on matchday two against Hertha, showing only a few glimpses of his quality, but this is just the beginning.
With Zlatko Junuzovic tied down, Werder Bremen are ready to welcome another midfield maestro. Following in the footsteps of Johan Micoud and Mesut Ozil, Eggestein has big shoes to fill in his quest towards becoming a complete number 10, though.
2. Julian Weigl (Dortmund)
The biggest compliment for Weigl is that he has played so well that no one thinks there is a 19-year-old controlling the ball in front of Dortmund's back four. After arriving from 1860 Munich for a modest €2.5 million in the summer, Thomas Tuchel's diamond in the rough is already sparkling. After finishing his debut against Gladbach with a 95.3% pass accuracy, Weigl left others to do the talking for him.
"You always have the feeling he has a plan," said the club's sporting director Michael Zorc afterwards. Against Ingolstadt, he covered the most ground (11.3km) and was an integral platform to Dortmund's transitional play. His performances have also made Nuri Sahin's injury seemingly irrelevant, thrown doubt over the game time of Sven Bender and taken some heat off Ilkay Gundogan.
3. Marc Stendera (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Eintracht Frankfurt's quiet starlet, who was a winning member of Germany's Under-19 Euro squad and involved in the Under-20 World Cup tournament this year, is ready to break out this season. Despite a short summer holiday, Stendera said a two-week break with his girlfriend was enough time away from football because he loves the game too much to be away for longer.
Wonderful vision in the final third means he could, if nobody catches on too soon, become the kind of creative player Frankfurt haven't really seen the likes of since Uwe Bein and Andreas Moller. The 19-year-old's skills tape has already been uploaded to YouTube. Now it's time to add to the archive.
4. Mahmoud Dahoud (Monchengladbach)
Born in Syria, but football-schooled in Germany, Dahoud is a talented midfielder who looks set to break through in a Christoph Kramer-less Gladbach team this year. Still a little rough around the edges at 19, the youngster has a fantastic long-range shot on him, and has shown lovely touches of instinctive playmaking in his appearances so far. He isn't a direct Christoph Kramer replacement, but Dahoud is still figuring out whether he is best in the heart of the midfield or at the top of a diamond. Working under Lucien Favre this season at Gladbach is a perfect step for his development.