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Best Young Bundesliga Players of 2021

Wed 15 December 2021 | 11:30

Join us as we take a look at the top young players from Europe’s best leagues in 2021 to find out who are the best young Bundesliga players of 2021:

It seems like that every season the players that take the center stage in any given league around the world are getting younger and younger. Perhaps one of the competitions that value this youth development above everything else is the German Bundesliga. We have now reached the point that players like Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe are established superstars of the game despite them still being 21 or 22 years old. Which makes taking a closer look at these young players all the more exciting.

With the emergence of players like Florian Wirtz, Giovanni Reyna, Bellingham and Josko Gvardiol as well as Bayern Munich’s emphasis on youth development, Bundesliga has become a fertile ground for the development of youth players so much so that many players from England even move there to get more game time like Jadon Sancho, who after a successful stint at Borussia Dortmund got his high-profile transfer to Manchester United. So let us take a look at the players that have followed in his footsteps to find out who are the

best young Bundesliga players of 2021

:

Best Young Players in Bundesliga

as always we have tried to be as diverse as possible when it comes to picking players from certain posts or clubs in our list of best young players in Bundesliga but even so teams like Dortmund and Bayern Munich have ended up with multiple players on our list because they are just that good!

Josko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig, Croatia)

Josko Gvardiol is a name that you’ll be hearing a lot in the coming seasons as the Croatian defender has the potential to become one of the best defenders in the world but for now he is at least considered to be one of the best young Bundesliga players of 2021. The 19 year old has recently moved to RB Leipzig and is already enjoying a starting position as well as having decent Champions League and national team experience under his belt, having previously appeared in Croatia’s Euro 2020 campaign.

Son of a former amateur Croatian footballer, Josko Gvardiol mainly played as a central midfielder at the start of his career as well as sometimes filling in the left-back role but following his impressive displays with the youth and reserve teams in Dinamo Zagreb, he was called in to the senior side and it was there that he was utilized as a center back, a position he is now known for

Gvardiol’s great performances in UEFA Youth League and the Croatian league with Dinamo Zagreb got the attention of many of Europe’s elite clubs like Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United, Manchester City and Ajax, all of which he turned down only to sign for RB Leipzig at the start of the last season for €16 million, making him the third most expensive Croatian player ever. He then spent another season at Dinamo Zagreb, this time on loan before joining Leipzig at the start of this current season.

With 2 Croatian league titles as well as a cup trophy, Josko Gvardiol has already won plenty more trophies than some of the best young players in Bundesliga on our list. He was also named as the best young player in Croatia for 2021 and was included in the Team of the Season. he was mainly brought in to fill the role of Dayot Upamecano and so far e has done a great job of it, averaging 1.7 tackles and 1.8 clearances per game so far this season.

Dominik Szoboszlai (RB Lepizig, Hungary)

The 2019-20 season Austrian Bundesliga’s Player of the Year and Hungary’s next big star is the next player on our list of best young Bundesliga players of 2021, Dominik Szoboszlai. The 21 year old made headlines while playing in the Austrian Bundesliga, first for the Liefering who are a feeder club for RB Salzburg and then for the Salzburg itself. His performances at RB Salzburg, in the domestic league as well as the Champions League, made him a target for many clubs like Arsenal and a few other Premier League teams, but he ultimately decided to join Salzburg’s sister club in Germany, RB Leipzig.

Dominik Szoboszlai, who mainly acts as a traditional playmaker or even a second striker, is not unlike a player like Kai Havertz because of his height and technique. His impeccable dribbling skills coupled with his physical strength make him a good ball carrying midfielder. Add to these his ability to create chances with his passing and you’ll end up with a great player who is one of the

Best young Bundesliga players in FIFA 21

right now. Szoboszlai is also a great set piece taker, having assisted and scored from them on numerous occasions both with RB Salzburg and RB Leipzig.

Having bagged 12 and 9 goals in the previous two seasons respectively as well as several assists in both seasons Szoboszlai has established himself as a free-scoring midfielder. He has demonstrated that very thing by scoring 5 and assisted 4 for Leipzig ever since he joined them in the summer.

His transition to a bigger league has been smooth and he has proven that he is in fact one of the best young midfielders around. While his move to RB Leipzig seems to be going pretty well there is no doubt that bigger teams will once again come for his signature but for now, dominating Bundesliga will suffice!

Nico Schlotterbeck (Freiburg, Germany)

Next up we have yet another center back among our

best young players in Bundesliga

list and it is

Freiburg

’s Nico Schlotterbeck. The 1.91m tall defender recently made the news after he was called up to Germany’s senior side for the first time, having prior represented Germany from the U18 to U21 level. Despite him not actually making his debut for Germany, the call up showed how strong his performances were for Flick to include him and looking at his numbers and stats, this fact is only emphasized.

A product of Karlsruher and Freiburg’s youth academy, Schlotterbeck made his senior debut for Freiburg during the 2018-19 season but it was during last season that he actually broke into the first team by appearing in 16 matches. however this season, Schlotterbeck has already as much minutes as he did the last term and is among the best current German soccer players.

A modern center back who can carry the ball into the attack and is quite commanding on the pitch due to his physical stature, Schlotterbeck is adept at stopping the ball either with his tackles or interceptions. He has already won 167 tackles so far this season which ranks him as sixth in the league. his 85% pass success rate is something that should not be forgotten about either since it showcases how much of a successful distributer he is.

With 2.2 tackles and 2.1 interceptions per game, Nico Schlotterbeck has definitely been among best young

Bundesliga

players of 2021 not to mention the best defenders in Europe. If he continues at this rate, he might even end up as a regular for Germany in the 2022 World Cup and he will definitely generate a lot of interest in him from Europe’s biggest clubs, as he already has!

Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund, USA)

The first Borussia Dortmund player to feature on our list who is coincidentally one of the Best young Bundesliga players in FIFA 21 is none other than Giovanni Reyna. While still only 18, Reyna has already become one of the mainstays in a

Borussia Dortmund

team packed with great players. Despite his set back and the injuries he has suffered this season, Reyna had a wonderful season last year (more than half of which was in 2021) and that is why he is included here.

Son of the Premier League veteran

Claudio Reyna

and US Women’s Soccer international Danielle Egan, Giovanni Reyna started his career in football at New York City youth academy but he then made the switch to Dortmund in 2019. After being featured in the youth academy for a couple of months, Reyna finally made his debut for Borussia Dortmund’s senior side in January of 2020.

Reyna who has broken a couple of records including the youngest player ever or scorer in Bundesliga and DFB Pokal has shown a keen eye for assisting goals as well as occasionally scoring them too. His partnership with Erling Haaland in particular has flourished in the past two seasons. It’s apparent that he has also learnt a lot from BVB’s seasoned skipper and playmaker, Marco Reus, as his playing style is kind of similar to him.

While Reyna played under 400 minutes in the 2019-20 season, he made his breakthrough last season and was featured for nearly 2000 minutes, delivering 7 goals and 6 assists which are great numbers for a then-17 year old. He has already scored 2 goals this season as well and while he has become one of the

best young Bundesliga players of 2021

, he still has a long way to go and get even better!

Jonathan Burkardt (Mainz, Germany)

One of the young players that really surprised everyone this season has been

Mainz

’s Jonathan Burkardt. While the 21 year old had always potential and have represented Germany in every level except senior, no one quite expected Burkardt to become one of the

best current German soccer players

. While Burkardt made his professional debut during the 2018-19 season, it wasn’t until last season that he started to get more playing time and he ended last season with 2 goals to his name both of which was against the champions, Bayern Munich.

Native of Darmstadt, Burkardt started his youth career playing for the local Darmstadt 98 club but then switched to Mainz at the age of 14. There the center forward managed to impress both his coaches at Mainz as well as the national team coaches which has resulted in him representing Germany at every level from U15 to U21, having played 38 matches and 16 goals overall, which is quite the impressive record.

Likened to one of Germany’s greatest players of all time (

Miroslav Klose

) by his head coach at Mainz, Burkardt has the potential to break into Hansi Flick’s Germany squad for the 2022 World Cup, especially with the lack of dedicated center forwards in Flick’s team.

Burkardt has made a good argument for his first senior call up by scoring 7 goals and assisting two other for Mainz this season, helping the club maintain their mid-table status. He has definitely been one of the best young Bundesliga players of 2021 so far and there will no doubt be a huge interest in Burkardt in the following summer transfer window!

Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich, Germany)

One of the youngest players on our list of the

best young Bundesliga players of 2021

is Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala. Bayern’s newest young prodigy looks increasingly more comfortable game after game, playing at the highest level with some of the greatest superstars of football like Lewandowski, Kimmich and Muller against oppositions like Barcelona. His progress at Bayern started last season but it seems that Musiala is headed to have a great season this year with him already matching what he did last year on the pitch.

Born to a British-Nigerian father and a German mother of Polish descent in the city of Stuttgart, Jamal Musiala spent most of his childhood in England and joined

Chelsea

’s prestigious youth academy but like many of Chelsea’s youth players, Musiala opted to depart the club in order to get playing time and he chose Bayern Munich in July of 2019.

Pretty soon he was given a chance at Bayern Munich’s first team and subsequently became the club’s youngest player and goal scorer in Bundesliga as well as Germany and England’s youngest goal scorer in the Champions league.

A good dribbler and passer of the ball, Musiala operates similar to Thomas Muller as he is a threat behind the main striker. His well-rounded capabilities as a midfielder allows him to play several roles well and it will be up to him and his managers to find a position that suits him perfectly. So far this season, Musiala has scored 7 and assisted 4 for club and country and is one of the best current German soccer players.

Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany)

Another player who had a breakthrough season last year was Bayer Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz, who is already is amongst the best young players in Europe while barely being 18. An attacking midfielder by trade, Florian Wirtz has improved so much and so quickly in the past two years that he has already made his senior debut for Germany. The 18 year old has appeared 4 times for Germany in 2021 and has taken his game to another level for Bayer Leverkusen.

Following the departure of Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen, the club who has had a good track record of developing young players like Havertz himself, turned their attention to the immensely talented Florian Wirtz. While the German teenager shares some similar attributes with Kai Havertz, Wirtz is a lot more dynamic in his movement and covers the pitch a lot more.

Wirtz’s through passes and his incredible vision is already causing Bundesliga teams huge problems and can only be improved upon even further. in an attacking side like Bayer Leverkusen as the youngster has shown glimpses of his playmaking abilities. Wirtz has also shown that he has a knack for scoring goals which has been prominent this season.

Last season, Wirtz played a huge part in Bayer Leverkusen’s first team by appearing in 38 matches, contributing with 8 goals and 7 assists in all competitions which is just mind boggling for a 17 year old at that level. He also scored became the youngest ever goal scorer in Bundesliga’s history by scoring against Bayern Munich. This season however the youngster has scored 8 and assisted 13 for club and country and is sure to have a standout season, making him one of the best young Bundesliga players of 2021.

Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund, England)

Next up we have one of the greatest youngsters that England has produced in recent years and that is Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham. The 18 year old midfielder has been outstanding this past year and his calm and collective performances for both England and Borussia Dortmund has put him on everyone’s radar. He was able to win the German cup as well as be included and make his debut for England in Euro 2020 in the year that passed, all of which showcase Bellingham’s incredible talent and the maturity with which he plays at the highest level.

Bellingham, who comes from a footballing family, joined

Birmangham City

’s youth system when he was 8 and managed to swiftly climb the ladders of the academy system and was already making an appearance for Birmangham’s U23 when he was only 15. Then at the start of the 2019-20 season, Bellingham found his way to the first team and scored to become Birmangham’s youngest ever goal scorer, by being 16 years and 63 days old.

Although currently he is utilized as a midfielder, he was initially a winger. his dribbling skills along with his incredible stamina and defensive prowess are the ingredients of a really good central midfielder that can act as either a box to box midfielder or maybe even a deep lying playmaker. He is also good at joining the attack and scoring an odd goal here or there making him a potent threat, especially on the second balls.

At the start of the 2020-21 season, Jude Bellingham joined Borussia Dortmund in a £25 million transfer and has become a regular starter for Die Schwarzengelben. Bellingham has already broken the record for being Dortmund’s youngest ever goal scorer as well as being the youngest ever Englishman to start a Champions League match. Having won the Bundesliga Rookie of the Month award in September as well as VDV’s Newcomer of the Season, his 7 goals and almost as many assists in the 60+ matches for Dortmund shows why he is considered to be one of best young Bundesliga players of 2021.

Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich, Canada)

When you clicked on this article you knew that Bayern’s Alphonso Davies would somehow figure on our list as the 21 year old has taken the Bundesliga and even Europe by storm since his arrival from Whitecaps in 2018. A big part of Bayern’s sextuplet winning season, Davies has continued his development at Bayern to become one of the best full backs in the world and one of the best defenders of 2021, despite the injury issues he has had in the past year.

Born and partially raised in Ghana, Alphonso Davies ended up moving with his family to Canada in his early teens and ended up living in a refugee camp. Football became an escape for him and pretty soon he showed his talent, attracting several clubs to sign him. After spending several years with Edmonton Strikers youth academy he joined Vancouver Whitecaps in 2015, where he would later get his professional debut.

A couple of great seasons at Vancouver Whitecaps was followed with an MLS All-Star appearance and subsequently his big transfer to Europe as Alphonso Davies decided to join Bayern Munich in the January of 2019 with a transfer worth 13.5 million dollars. Although he was primarily a winger at Whitecaps, Davies would later be used as a full back or a wing back at Bayern because of his speed, dribbling and crossing ability. Although Davies does lack a lot of defensive capabilities that a full back should have.

Since his arrival at

Bayern Munich

, Davies has won 3 Bundesliga titles, 2 DFB-Pokals, a Champions League, a Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup as well as performing incredibly well for Canada’s national team by scoring 10 goals in 28 matches. Davies has scored once and provided 5 assists this season and has become one of the best fullbacks in the world and an important part of Bayern Munich’s core squad. which makes hi appearance on our list of the best young Bundesliga players of 2021 a no brainer.

Erling Braut Haaland (Borussia Dortmund, Norway)

When we think of Bundesliga these days, generally two names immediately jump to our minds one of them being the incredibly talented Erling Haaland. The Norwegian superstar is undoubtedly one of the best strikers in world football right now and he is only 21. Having previously made a name for himself playing for Norwegian sides, Bryne and Molde before transferring to RB Salzburg in 2019, Halaand has lit Bundesliga on fire ever since he joined Borussia Dortmund in January of 2020.

A complete forward in every sense of the word, Haaland is capable of taking on defenders, creating chances for his teammates, scoring from long distance, leaving defenders in the dust with his ungodly speed and even doing some heavy defensive work by pressing high in opposition’s half. Basically anything that you could think of which makes a striker dangerous, Haaland does it and does it perfectly. He is unapologetically lethal in front of the goal and is always in the right place when an opportunity comes.

After transferring to Borussia Dortmund for a fee of €20 million, Haaland has scored in almost every game. His goal-per-game ratio is insanely good with him having scored 74 goals in 73 appearances for Dortmund since his arrival at Signal Iduna Park. Last season Haaland scored 41 goals in 41 appearances, winning the Champions League Golden Boot and Bundesliga’s Best Player of the season after scoring 27 and assisting 6 in the league.

Bundesliga Player of the Year in 2021

also finished 3rd in the top scorer race in Bundesliga but helped Borussia Dortmund win the DFB-Pokal in what was his first trophy with the Schwarzengelben. He has continued his excellent form throughout this season and has even improved upon it as he has scored 17 goals in 13 appearances for Dortmund this season including a couple of injury-time winners. It is undeniable that Erling Haaland will leave behind the lasting legacy in football, so Dortmund and Bundesliga fans better enjoy his performances before he eventually leaves next summer! 

 

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