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.
5. Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)
A "Kampfansage" (statement of intent) followed by a "wish you were here" has left Joshua Kimmich in the spotlight after the departure of his idol. Bastian Schweinsteiger has gone, leaving the newly arrived 20-year-old to fend for himself, but Kimmich hasn't let that distract him.
Bought for a hefty €9.5m from Stuttgart, there won't be much time for him to prove himself at Bayern and Kimmich will have to do something special to be regularly involved in Pep Guardiola's top-level side this year. The quality is there, though, so it just depends where Guardiola ranks him in his endless list of promising midfielders at the Allianz Arena.
6. Felix Platte (Schalke 04)
Perhaps the forgotten name of Schalke's youth academy, but with the likes of Max Meyer, Leon Goretzka and even Leroy Sané already squad regulars, perhaps it is time for the young striker who impressed against Real Madrid last season to come of age. The 19-year-old said in July that he hadn't set himself any clear goals in order to take the pressure off himself. The arrival of Franco Di Santo earlier in the summer did that for him, but with new manager Andre Breitenreiter preferring two strikers and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar now 32 years old, Platte has every reason to believe he'll be in the mix more often this season.
7. Timo Baumgartl (Stuttgart)
With Antonio Rudiger having left for Roma, Stuttgart's defence will have to look elsewhere for a hero. Timo Baumgartl gained all sorts of experience in last year's disappointing campaign, and despite a slow start from Stuttgart on the defensive side, there is no reason to think the 19-year-old won't just get better and better. With the rest of the squad's defenders too often inconsistent, this is Baumgartl's year.
8+9. Felix Passlack, Jeremy Dudziak (Dortmund)
A pair of wingbacks is exactly what Dortmund need this season. Lukasz Piszczek has said on numerous occasions he's only playing thanks to the medical team and although Marcel Schmelzer shined against Ingolstadt, who knows how long his form will last? With that in mind, both 19-year-old left back Jeremy Dudziak and 17-year-old right back/winger Felix Passlack could feature more in the first team squad.
Dudziak, who joined from rivals Schalke, has already played for Dortmund and the industrious and attacking left-footer will likely be involved again this campaign. Passlack captained Germany's Under-17 side in a European Championship campaign that ended with defeat in the final. He scored three goals, too, which tells you all you need to know about how much he loves to get up the right hand side of the field.
10. Niklas Stark (Hertha Berlin)
Recently signed by Hertha Berlin after battling bravely for one of Germany's sleeping giants, Stark is a great pick up for the capital club. He can operate in the centre of defence or midfield, but is perhaps at his best just in front of the back four.
Back in 2014, Stark captained Germany's Under-19s to European glory and was hailed by manager Marcus Sorg as "the best captain a coach could wish for in this generation." In 2013/14, he made 21 Bundesliga outings in a desperate attempt to stop Nürnberg's slide, and while that battle was in vain, he can help Hertha. His leadership qualities will be invaluable in a team in lacking players who can lead by example.
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