The Hard Tackle takes a look at five players who could be the next big things to emerge from the Bundesliga.
The 2019/20 edition of the Bundesliga is coming to an end with just a couple of matchdays remaining. The ongoing campaign has seen the rise of a host of talented players including Jadon Sancho, Marcus Thuram and Kai Havertz along with many other quality individuals who have lightened up the league.
Despite Bayern Munich’s sheer dominance in German football, a majority of the Bundesliga clubs have been able to produce quality talents over the years. And it is unlikely to fade away anytime soon, with Bayern themselves now getting in on the act, having overseen the development of stars like Alphonso Davies this season.
In this article, however, we will be taking a look at five Bundesliga players who are poised to make their mark in German football in the near future.
Giovanni Reyna (AM) – Borussia Dortmund
Giovanni Reyna's first goal for @BlackYellow 📹
He'll do well to ever score a better one 😲 pic.twitter.com/iNDZDIP1Mb
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) February 11, 2020
Giovanni Reyna is by far the most popular player on this list, having been regarded as the next big thing to come out of American football after Christian Pulisic.
Son of former USMNT captain Claudio Reyna, Giovanni has, in fact, already established himself as a reliable attacking option for Lucien Favre. At the age of 17, he has featured in 16 competitive matches for Borussia Dortmund. But, he is yet to make his mark in professional football.
However, a lot could change in the upcoming season as the Black and Yellows brace themselves for the potential departure of star players like Mario Gotze, Achraf Hakimi and Jadon Sancho. Even a potential change of coach could be on the agenda.
While Dortmund are more than guaranteed to sign a replacement in the event of Sancho’s potential departure from the Signal Iduna Park, there are many reasons why Reyna is sure to enjoy a more prominent role in the first-team next season.
Marco Reus, for one, is slowly nearing the final phase of his career while Gotze’s confirmed departure may create a void in the attacking unit. Reyna could fill that role as the youngster has already shown that he is capable of performing at the highest level of football.
Sebastian Vasiliadis (CM) – SC Paderborn
Most ground covered so far:
🥇 Joshua Kimmich: 134.3 km
🥈 Sebastian Vasiliadis: 130.7 km
🥉 Robert Andrich: 130.4 km
Going the distance🏃♂️💨 pic.twitter.com/BoNCGMHLq9
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) November 17, 2019
At the age of 22, Sebastian Vasiliadis is by far the oldest player on this list. But he is also the most well-established player, having emerged as a rising star for SC Paderborn this season. He has featured in 30 games for the minnows, missing only one game due to suspension.
Although one could argue that Paderborn have already been relegated this season, Vasiliadis is almost destined to remain in the Bundesliga for his incredible performances throughout the course of the campaign.
Indeed, the Greek international has impressed the onlookers with his incredible work-rate, making him quite similar to Hertha Berlin engine Vladimir Darida. In fact, only Jonas Hector and Konrad Laimer have attempted more tackles than Vasiliadis this season.
A key aspect of Vasiliadis’s game is that he can cover a large area in midfield. As a result, it allows the coach to employ a more offensive high-press with at least three attackers pressing the centre-backs – making it hard for the opposition to play out from the back.
It is a quality that will be cherished by even the top dogs of the Bundesliga. Hence, it comes as no surprise as to why teams like Borussia Monchengladbach and FC Schalke have shown interest in the SC Paderborn midfielder. And as we head towards the re-opening of the transfer window, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for Vasiliadis this summer.
Edmond Tabsoba (CB) – Bayer Leverkusen
Edmond Tapsoba p90 in the Bundesliga this season:
84.6 successful passes
4.5 accurate long passes
2.1 tackles won
Massively impressed in the Bundesliga restart. 🇧🇫🙌 pic.twitter.com/9dCWnEJ8N5
— Statman Scouts (@StatmanScouts) June 10, 2020
Edmond Tapsoba is arguably the hottest defensive prospect in the Bundesliga right now. The Burkina Faso youngster has gone from strength to strength since joining Bayer Leverkusen in an €18 million deal from Vitoria Guimaraes.
In fact, he has become a key component in the Leverkusen backline, having made 12 Bundesliga appearances so far. His formidable defensive partnership alongside Sven Bender has helped Die Werkself secure victories in eight of those fixtures.
A centre-back by trade, Tapsoba has impressed the onlookers with his remarkable commitment. He has notably averaged 3.2 clearances and 2.5 tackles per game while his imposing 1.92m frame has helped him be commanding in aerial duels. As a result, Leverkusen have appeared much more competent while defending deep and even from set-pieces.
Tapsoba’s rapid rise to prominence in the Bundesliga has even forced coach Peter Bosz to bench another defensive ace in Jonathan Tah. However, given the way the youngster has performed this year, Leverkusen might face a difficult task keeping hold of him this summer.
Joshua Zirkzee (ST) – Bayern Munich
It took Joshua Zirkzee 50 minutes to score 4 Bundesliga goals.
— Football Talent Scout – Jacek Kulig (@FTalentScout) June 13, 2020
As mentioned earlier, Bayern Munich have lately embraced the idea of giving unproven youngsters an opportunity to perform at the highest level. Joshua Zirkzee is among the players who seem to have profited from that, with the young striker netting four goals in eight matches so far.
While Zirkzee may not be as well known a prospect as the likes of Reyna or Tapsoba as far as getting regular game-time is concerned, the Dutchman could play a key role in Bayern’s future.
In the goalscoring department, the Bavarians currently have Robert Lewandowski as their only reliable option. And with the Pole nearing the final phase of his career, Zirkzee could be a decent long-term successor.
The Dutchman has done his part showcasing his talent too, having recently scored in the important win over Borussia Monchengladbach.
Zirkzee is naturally a centre-forward, who is blessed with immense technical quality. He is capable of dropping deep and using his body for some good hold-up play. While he might not be as lethal as Lewandowski when it comes to scoring goals, he has indeed shown a lot of promise, and with time on his side, Bayern Munich may just have another gem of a striker at their disposal.
Moussa Diaby (LW) – Bayer Leverkusen
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) June 18, 2020
The second player from Bayer Leverkusen to feature on this list. Moussa Diaby could well become the next Marcus Thuram of the Bundesliga in the coming season.
A product of the PSG youth academy, the winger initially joined Leverkusen last summer, in a €15 million move from the French capital. He is yet to establish himself as a fully-fledged member of the first-team, mainly due to the immense competition, with Leverkusen also boasting the services of players like Leon Bailey, Kai Havertz and Kevin Volland among many others.
However, Havertz has already been linked with a move to Real Madrid and Chelsea while Bailey hasn’t had a bright season so far. In fact, the Jamaican international has mustered far fewer game-time than Diaby this campaign, which is enough to suggest the fact that coach Bosz definitely has Diaby in his long-term plans.
Indeed, Diaby’s phenomenal pace, combined with his aggression and exquisite ball control provide the ideal flair to the Dutchman’s tactical philosophy, that revolves around the dynamism and the tenacity of his players. The Frenchman, to that end, has averaged 2.6 successful dribbles and 1.2 key passes per game.
The 20-year-old’s presence in the team has been critical, especially with Bailey being inconsistent, while the experienced Karim Bellarabi has suffered from fitness problems since Bundesliga’s restart last month. And with that in mind, it is fairly reasonable to conclude that Diaby is in line to become a potential star in the German top-flight next season.
All stats have been taken from Whoscored.