Bundesliga

Josh Sargent to Benjamin Pavard: Bundesliga’s “Wonderkids to Watch”

The Bundesliga’s talent pool includes a surplus of exciting players, including several young Americans. Bundesliga.com highlighted its “Wonder Kids to Watch” for 2018-2019 and among the featured players were a few who will likely hold a key to the future of international soccer in the United States.

Josh Sargent

While most Bundesliga fans have become familiar with Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic, Schalke 04’s Weston McKennie, and Hertha Berlin goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann; one of the most intriguing players listed was Werder Bremen’s Josh Sargent, who I would love to see erupt on to the Bundesliga scene this season.

Sargent has the potential to be one of the building blocks for Werder Bremen, as the squad looks to use its youthful roster to battle for a top-six spot in the Bundesliga. Die Werderaner has some exciting young players aside of Sargent, including Bayern Munich-loanee Marco Friedl, to help set a foundation for the season. Sargent may be the Werder Bremen player most able to provide a scoring spark to the lineup this season, but it remains to be seen if the club will give him the opportunity with a first-team spot on the roster.

Sargent is a talent

Sargent’s offensive presence is seemingly something Werder Bremen could benefit from and the native Missourian has created ample chances for every team he’s played for. If Sargent can secure a place in the starting XI, the 18-year-old phenom will have the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with veteran-laden league heavyweights, such as Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke 04, and Hoffenheim.

In addition, squads such as Bayer Leverkusen, Eintracht Frankfurt, RB Leipzig, and VfB Stuttgart (among others) offer their own set of unique challenges to combat a player like Sargent. This type of competition can only enhance the skill-set and bolster the experience of a talent like Sargent.

In addition to the Americans, Bundesliga.com featured players such as Niklas Süle (Bayern Munich), Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen), and Gian-Luca Itter (Wolfsburg); Jamaican Leon Bailey (Bayern Leverkusen); French players Benjamin Pavard (VfB Stuttgart), and Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig); as well as Argentina’s Santiago Ascacibar (VfB Stuttgart).

Niklas Süle

Süle is likely to be among the top center backs in the Bundesliga this season, especially after a hugely successful 2017-2018 campaign for Bayern Munich. The former Hoffenheim man has natural strength and is quick enough to make life incredibly hard for even the paciest of forwards. The year of experience he gained playing alongside Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng has helped Süle immensely, and has left many fans clamouring to see more of the big man on the pitch.

Süle is also gaining acclaim outside of Germany, as his performances in both the Champions League and World Cup have enhanced the public perception of the 22-year-old.

Havertz and Bailey are part of the burgeoning Bayer Leverkusen offensive juggernaut that also features Germany international Julian Brandt, along with Kevin Volland, and Lucas Alario. Die Werkself is one of the teams we are most excited to watch develop next season. We expect the Leverkusen offense to be explosive, but the squad will need to sure up its defense to give the team a more balanced look.

Bailey and Havertz bring both speed and immense skill to Leverkusen. The Die Werkself offense should be nothing short of brilliant this season if it can develop cohesion among all of those skilled pieces.

Benjamin Pavard

Stuttgart’s Pavard has experienced a meteoric rise since lighting up this year’s World Cup. It could be argued that no other young player, aside of Kylian Mbappe, has garnered more fanfare during the tournament. Pavard has shown a great ability to keep his defensive positioning while excelling in one-on-one situations. His screamer against Argentina didn’t exactly hurt his outlook, either.

Upamecano should be a long-time fixture for Die Roten Bullen (assuming they don’t sell him), while Ascacibar and Itter will look to make an impression this season for their respective teams.

The Bundesliga is not often considered to be comparable to the Premier League, or La Liga, in terms of overall talent, but the league offers a tremendous environment for development. The mix of experience and youthful exuberance should provide an excellent platform for football this upcoming season.

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