German efficiency is a word that has forced its way into all of our vocabularies. Be it motor vehicles, house hold appliances or even office work flow automation, a German product is always held as a benchmark. On other product that Germany has been able to perfect off late is their football. Even after the recent case of Volkswagen denting the image of German Quality, the national teama s performance in the recently concluded World cup was evidence of the quality of German Football. Their success neither relied on exceptional players (although they did have the stars) nor any trick or special tactic. The German national team won the world cup purely due to work ethic and a strong foundation. With a great youth system established domestically, Germany is able to churn out quality players in large numbers who are not only individually brilliant but also exceptional in a team of players varying in quality.
Here is a list of 5 promising German players under the age of 21. Although these five are exceptional in their own way, this small list is but a fraction of the exceptional talent in the German Roster.
Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen)
Born on 1st Feb 1996, the intimidating figure of the 6 foot 3 inch German defender is sure to scare any striker playing on the opposing team. The 19 year old currently plies his trade at Bayer Leverkusen, however his name rose to prominence in his 16 appearances for Hamburg and 23 appearances for Fortuna Dusseldorf. Built like an ox, Tah is not only a defensive powerhouse but also uses his height to his advantage displaying a fair share of aerial prowess. Tah although big and bulky is quiet fast and possesses a good eye for long balls which allows him to comfortably switch to a right-back position. His ability and past performances have earned him the captains arm band when playing for the under 19 national squad. With a playing style resembling that of World Cup winner Mats Hummels, we could be witnessing the rise of the future of German Defense
Niklas Sule (Hoffenheim)
No defense is complete without an exceptional central defensive pairing and Niklas Sule is sure to be a good player to put beside Jonathan Tah. Although he has never played beside Tah, the 20 year old Hoffenheim central defender would be a perfect match operating on the left side of central defence. At 6 foot 4 inches, Sule is equally large, powerful and aerially dominant. With more luck at finding the back of the net than Tah, Sule has a lethal right foot and a keen eye for goal. Having featured 42 times for his Bundesliga side, Sule has scored 6 goals while possessing the confidence and maturity of a seasoned defender. Sule is sure to grow into an excellent defender and a complete all round football player in the years to come.
Leyroy Sane (Schalke)
Of Senegalese origin, Leroy is the son of former Senegal International Souleyman Sane. Eligible to play for Germany through his mother German gymnast Regina Webber, the nineteen year old has athletea s blood and has already netted 6 goals in 21 appearences for Schalke. An attacking midfield by trade, Sane can easily operate on either sides of the wing or even play in the coveted number ten position. With blistering pace and nifty footwork, Sane can trick and nutmeg his way past the most prominent defenders quite skilfully. What Germany however seems to have in excess is a supply of attacking midfielders. With Ozil, Schurrle and Muller yet battling for a position in the current squad against the likes of Reus, Draxler and Gotze, it will be a while until Sane could think of a fair chance at playing for the Senior German National team. However, good work can never go unnoticed, and with commendable work rate that is inherent in the Bundesliga, we are sure to hear the name Leroy Sane for years to come as he tears apart opponents and makes himself a threat in the world of Club football.
Max Meyer (Schalke)
At a tender age of 5, Max Meyer started his youth football career at hometown club FC Sardegna Oberhausen. After a long stint at Duisburg, Meyer moved to Schalke and broke into the senior team in the year 2013. As an attacking midfielder, Max has already made 68 appearances for the club and scored 11 goals. Meyer although twenty has already made an appearance for the senior national team which resonates his quality. Equally comfortable on either sides of the pitch or in the center, Meyer is a versatile number ten with a burst of pace and crafty skills. Schalke mainly opted to play the youngster off the bench or on either sides of the pitch due to the presence of Julian Draxler. However with the stara s departure, we could see the youngster making the playmaker role his own. Equally comfortable shooting with both feet and an experienced striker like Huntelaar playing ahead of him, Meyera s name is going to be one to remember in the years to come.
Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen)
One thing the German team has lacked in recent years is an out and out winger. Considered Bundesligaa s most promising winger, the 6 foot one inch teenager can shoot with either feet and is fast as hell. With a keen eye for passes and exceptional crossing ability, Brandt holds in his arsenal the ability to cut inside for a long ranger or hug the touchline in order to cross. Although poor in tracking back, Brandt is an out and out attacking player Bayer Leverkusen relish and will only get better. Having faced competition from Korean Son Heung-Min in the previous season, Brandt now will have to grab opportunity by the scruff of its neck, as his team mate has moved to England. With the teams creative responsibility lying in the hands of a talented nineteen year old, Brandt is presented with a plant form to showcase his talent and there is no doubt he will be remembered.
Although the five listed above are truly talented, a few players who are equally good and worth a mention include Serge Gnabry (Arsenal, On-loan to West Brom), Timo Werner (Stuttgart) and Leon Goretzka (Schalke). The likes of Mathias Ginter, Emre Can and Maximilian Arnold although truly exceptional have not been included in this list as they are already 21 and have featured in more lists than can be counted.
With this collection of youngsters waiting their turn to represent a Das Vaterlanda no injury or poor form can hinder Germanya s performances in future tournaments.