20 year old Maximilian Arnold has been on the cusp of greatness for a while now. Since he stormed onto the stage in early 2013, Arnold has cemented his place in the Wolfsburg first team. the Bundesliga side fought off interest from Arsenal when Arnold had burst onto the scene to keep him in Lower Saxony. And Arnold has risen to the occasion. Arnold is enjoying a strong season, helping his team reach second in the Bundesliga table and eyeing Champions League football next season, where he will get to rub shoulders with the likes of Messi, Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic. We take a glance at the latest exciting young talent from Germany in our Scout Report.
It seems Germany have been producing a line of top young midfield talents over the last few years. One Mario Goetze, at 22, is already a World Cup winner and on course to being a German legend. Arnold, while not in the same class as Goetze yet, will be aiming to reach those heights with club and country. Brought on from the youth team at Wolfsburg, Arnold is a box to box midfielder comfortable in a number 10 role, as well as playing from deep in midfield. He was the youngest player to make an appearance in the Wolfsburg team when he came on as a 17 year old substitute in November 2011 against FC Augsburg.
Now, Arnold plays a more important role for the team, having chalked up 1493 minutes of Bundesliga football this season from midfield, with 4 goals and 2 assists. Blessed with a cracking left foot, one of Arnold’s strengths is his long distance shooting – a skill he has mastered even at this young age. Arnold is most effective as a left attacking midfielder, where one of his strengths is drawing fouls from the opposing defenders through his trickery on the ball. His passing is also a strength as he delivered an 87% pass accuracy on average this season.
Wolfsburg manager Dieter Hecking must be proud of his young talent as Arnold’s two strikes helped Wolfsburg overcome Bielefeld to reach the German Cup final for the first time in two decades. Hecking still might not be sure about Arnold’s best position though, as he continues to play him in a variety of positions across the park. Arnold does look like he has the composure to finish his career as a deep lying midfielder, even though he has flaws to his game that will need to be corrected. He is not the tackling kind of player, nor should people expect it from him even in midfield. As he grows, Arnold needs to get stronger on the ball and contribute a little more defensively if he has to go down as one of the better midfield talents to emerge from the Bundesliga.
For now, we leave you with a clip of perhaps the talented German’s best career goal so far, an effort from last season against Werder Bremen. With quality like this, Arnold will no doubt attract interest from the bigger teams sooner rather than later.