Bundesliga clubs luring British talent overseas seems to be the in thing these days. Ever since Jadon Sancho exploded onto the scene after leaving Manchester City, clubs are looking to try their luck at unearthing another gem of their own.
However, German sides aren’t the only ones who can lure young prospects overseas. Premier League teams have been doing it for years, and it is time for them to step it up a notch.
7. Herdi Bukusu
Herdi Bukusu is currently making waves in youth football. He has nine goals in 12 games for Bayer Leverkusen’s Under-19 side this season, and Europe should take note of the powerful winger.
He was included on the bench for a Europa League clash with AEK Larnaca in December but, even with the score at 5-1 to the Germans, Bukusu remained unused. The likes of Leon Bailey and Kevin Volland dominate the lineup in the senior team, whilst wonderkid Paulinho is also given plenty of chances to impress.
At 18, Bukusu certainly has an important choice to make now. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, he could opt to test himself somewhere new, and English sides should be all over him.
6. Antonis Aidonis
After leaving Hoffenheim to join Stuttgart in 2018, it is clear that Antonis Aidonis wants to see a clear path into first-team football. The 17-year-old is viewed as one of Germany’s finest defensive prospects, which should certainly appeal to English sides.
A quick, technically gifted central defender, Aidonis has often featured in a midfield role as his sides look to get the best out of the youngster. He has started just once for Stuttgart this season, but has regularly been an unused substitute on matchdays.
Aidonis has been compared to Arsenal centre-back Shkodran Mustafi, and there is little doubt that the 17-year-old is set for a successful career. However, currently lost in purgatory between youth and adult football, Aidonis could be tempted by a move to the Premier League.
5. Gian-Luca Itter
Most fans of German youth football will tell you that Gian-Luca Itter is set for a successful career as the left-back of the national team. The 20-year-old is an attack-minded defender who loves to use his pace and crossing abilities to wreak havoc on opposition defences.
Last season, he racked up ten assists for Wolfsburg’s Under-19 side, and it is clear that he is ready for the transition to senior football, thanks to his composure and vision. Compared to Bayern Munich stars David Alaba and Joshua Kimmich, Itter is one of the country’s finest prospects.
However, he has started just once in the Bundesliga this season, with Wolfsburg instead preferring Frenchman Jerome Roussillon at left-back. If a Premier League side need a full-back with all the potential in the world, they would be foolish to look past Itter.
4. Jean-Manuel Mbom
Goalscoring midfielders are always a valuable commodity in the Premier League, which bodes well for Jean-Manuel Mbom. The Werder Bremen starlet managed to net 18 goals in 20 matches two seasons ago, but his form has slowed down as injuries began to stunt his development.
Nevertheless, Mbom’s vision and attacking positioning still make him an intriguing prospect. Only a few seasons ago, he seemed destined for stardom, but may just need a chance to prove himself.
A regular feature for Germany’s youth sides, Mbom is yet to make an impact at senior level for either club or country, but could prove to be a true bargain for any English side.
3. Linton Maina
Linton Maina is already on the shortlist of many Premier League scouts, with Manchester United thought to be seriously impressed with the 19-year-old.
The pacy winger is already a regular in the Bundesliga with Hannover 96, with 13 senior appearances to his name to date. After netting his first goal back in November, Maina’s name has been on the lips of many in Germany, and understandably so.
If Maina continues on this upwards trajectory, he could become a valuable asset, and clubs should move to sign him soon, before his value rockets up.
2. Lars Lukas Mai
Lars Lukas Mai has been the star of Bayern’s youth teams since joining the club in 2014. The towering centre-back is strong and technically gifted, and the Bundesliga giants have earmarked him as one for the future.
The 18-year-old made his senior debut towards the end of last season, but has since been relegated to the bench. Cementing a permanent place in the lineup will not be easy for Mai, who is competing with Mats Hummels, Nicklas Sule and Jerome Boateng for a place on the team sheet.
It would take an enormous offer to tempt Bayern to part with Mai, similar to the £35m which they were looking to spend on Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi. Chelsea did not appreciate Bayern’s public pursuit of their starlet, and maybe it is time for Bayern to have a taste of their own medicine.
1. Elias Abouchabaka
Aside from having one of the greatest names in football, 18-year-old Elias Abouchabaka is another German wonderkid who is destined for big things. However, if you just looked at his current situation, you would be forgiven for thinking otherwise.
The RB Leipzig youngster is currently on loan with second-tier side Greuther Furth, but has made just three appearances all season, accumulating a total of 59 minutes of competitive action. Instead, Abouchabaka has spent the majority of his time with Greuther Furth’s reserve sides.
A star of Germany’s youth sides for several years, Abouchabaka still has plenty of time to carve out a stellar career for himself, and English sides should look to offer him a platform to showcase his talents on the big stage.