Top 10 young players to watch in the Bundesliga in 2023

After a 10 week break, the Bundesliga returns tonight. Here’s GGFN’s look at the best 10 young talents to watch in 2023 from already incredible players such as Jamal Musiala and Joško Gvardiol to a relative unknown such as Noah Atubolu. Unable to compete with the financial power of Premier League clubs, in the Bundesliga we get the opportunity to watch these young players develop into potential stars.

Jamal Musiala, Bayern Munich

Germany may have made an early exit from the World Cup in Qatar, but that doesn’t mean all is doom and gloom for either the short or long term. There was no player which impressed more than Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala. The 19-year-old midfielder has already solidified his place as the primary creative mind for both club and country and looked to be the only player who could have single handedly willed the Germans past the group stage. In the end, his record breaking 13 completed dribbles against Costa Rica wasn’t enough to see them through as the defensive issues are yet to be resolved for Hansi Flick’s squad. Whilst possessing elite dribbling and ball progression skills, he also has a strong eye for goal and heads into the second-half of the league campaign ranking #1 in scoring chances created per 90 minutes (2.25).

Youssoufa Moukoko, Borussia Dortmund

It seems increasingly likely that Youssoufa Moukoko will indeed sign a new contract and remain with Borussia Dortmund. The young German international has experienced a breakthrough season thus far for the Schwarzgelben and is a vital piece to Edin Terzic’s puzzle. With ruthless finishing, exquisite technique and a poacher’s instinct beyond his years, Moukoko will continue to feature heavily for Dortmund in 2023 despite the rightfully celebrated return of Sébastien Haller. With BVB involved in the Bundesliga, a Champions League tie against Chelsea, and the DFB Pokal, the minutes will be distributed with caution.

Jude Bellingham, Borussia Dortmund

The Englishman has somehow elevated his game once again and demonstrated noticeable progression from the previous season. So enthralling have his performances been that he’s quickly become virtually every club’s dream midfield signing. But whilst Europe’s elite line up to make their sales pitch to BVB, Bellingham continues to chisel away at the minuscule weak spots in his absurdly gifted repertoire. He’s improved his finishing in front of goal, retained his unparalleled motor, and even captained the club at just 19 years of age. Terzic asks a lot of him and will not refrain from doing so as the club navigates a packed 2023 fixture list.

Florian Wirtz, Bayer Leverkusen

There is little doubt in Germany that Florian Wirtz resides in the same talent level as both Jamal Musiala and Jude Bellingham. Injury has prevented him from featuring in the first half of this Bundesliga season, but much to the delight of supporters of Bayer Leverkusen and Germany’s national team – he’s officially back. By all accounts, his recovery has proceeded with caution and has been deemed successful. The attacking midfielder is poised to re-introduce himself to the world stage with Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen and will likely feature heavily in Hansi Flick’s various tactical experiments to place him alongside Musiala heading into Euro 2024 on home soil.

Joško Gvardiol, RB Leipzig

There is no Bundesliga defender whose stock has risen more since the start of the season than the 20-year-old Croatian international. He appears to be the total package of an elite modern central defender. Strong, pacey, and secure in ball progression out of the defensive third of the pitch. He leads the Bundesliga in carries per 90 minutes (24) and will be trusted by Marco Rose to be a versatile anchor in defence as RB Leipzig push for another top four domestic finish. The performances on the grand stage were stellar for Croatia in the World Cup. Now he’ll have another chance to shine in a round of 16 tie against Erling Haaland and Manchester City come February.

Manu Koné, Borussia Mönchengladbach

France has no shortage of physically and technically gifted midfielders in their ranks. Supporters of Borussia M’gladbach have the pleasure of watching one of the latest gems develop in front of their eyes in 21-year-old Manu Koné. After a loan stint with Toulouse, he’s now routinely featured on weekly Bundesliga highlight reels and has attracted heavy attention from some of Europe’s biggest clubs with Bayern, PSG, and Liverpool exploring a potential signing in the near future. He’s physical, dynamic in possession, and has an ability to shake off defenders with strength that reminds one of his fellow Frenchman – Paul Pogba. First up for Koné in the Bundesliga’s return? A Sunday showdown against Florian Wirtz and Bayer Leverkusen.

Dominik Szoboszlai, RB Leipzig

Another former Red Bull Salzburg product, the Hungarian midfielder arrived in Leipzig with plenty of hype in the summer of 2021. While showing flashes of his skillset and incredible efficiency with set piece opportunities, it has been this season that he’s been able to remain healthy and get a consistent run of games. His impressive form has led to a Bundesliga leading 0.36 XA (Expected Assists) per game. Now reunited with his former manager at Salzburg, Marco Rose, he’s got the chance to elevate his game even further and develop into the potentially world class creative force that many presumed he’s eventually be. It would appear that all of the necessary pieces are now in place for this to become a reality.

Piero Hincapié, Bayer Leverkusen

Having arrived for just €8m from CA Talleres in 2021, Piero Hincapié has now established himself as a first-choice central defender for Xabi Alonso’s resurgent Bayer Leverkusen. While initially being deployed as a left-back in the beginning of this season he has made central defence his home and has thrived in the process. His progression has resulted in a flurry of winter transfer rumors featuring such potential suitors as Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United, and Everton. The club will hope to retain its Ecuadorian star and continue to rebuild following a previously disastrous domestic run of games.

Kiliann Sildillia, Freiburg

The French theme continues with a versatile defender in Freiburg’s Killiann Sildillia. Equipped with athleticism and plenty of confidence on the ball, the France U20 international is one of the most exciting talents on an equally exciting Freiburg roster. He’s featured in multiple positions across the back line and can function with the same level of efficiency in seemingly any of them. As a right wing back, he possesses a motor that makes him effective at handling 1 V 1 situations against the Bundesliga’s best attackers while also providing an outlet in attack in his own right.

Noah Atubolu, Freiburg

The SC Freiburg product may only be known by most for his viral clip in which the Germany U20 international scored a goal from inside his own half, but there is much more to his game. He possesses a good frame and superb athleticism with the sort of positional anticipation you want to see in a young keeper. Though he is yet to break through as Freiburg’s #1, it appears to be only a matter of time before he gets his shot. The club is in excellent form and trails only perennial champions – Bayern Munich. However, they’re still in the DFB Pokal and there is a strong possibility that this is where Atubolu’s chance lies in the (very) short term.

GGFN | Reece Edwards

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