5 Young Players Set to Break Through at Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund may have spent a lot of money on new players this summer, but at the heart of this club is a strong emphasis on producing and nurturing their own young talent for the first team.
On any given matchday of the Bundesliga season, it wouldn't be a surprise to find Jurgen Klopp's side peppered with talented players who have spent most of their emerging careers at the German club. Such is the nature of league and especially a club like Dortmund.
As such, with the new season upon us we should now prepare for the new batch of stars just waiting to light up the coming Bundesliga campaign.
Here are five young players who look set to break through at Dortmund in the next few years.
Marian Sarr: Central Defender
Although Dortmund look well prepared in the central defense department, following the acquisition of Matthias Ginter from Freiburg over the summer transfer window, another option in such a position is young Marian Sarr from the youth team.
The 19-year-old has played a strong part in Dortmund's pre-season run of friendlies, with the absence of the club's World Cup players, and he has on occasion shown a rare combination of athleticism and intelligence at such a young age.
Having previously played in the European Under-17 Championships for the German national team, Sarr is undoubtedly a strong talent who will either force his way into the Dortmund first team or find match time elsewhere before too long.
Erik Durm: Left-Back
As perhaps the brightest prospect on this list, Erik Durm can quite simply be introduced as Dortmund's worst kept secret going into this coming season.
Known by most as that surprise pick in Joachim Low's World Cup-winning squad just a few months ago, Durm has already made quite a name for himself in Klopp's side as a future left-back for the first-team squad.
Formidable with the ball at his feet, the former striker offers an attacking dimension and defensive safeguard that can often be lacking in his senior counterpart Marcel Schmelzer's game, and so could well find himself as a regular first-team player by the end of the season.
At just 22 years of age, Durm is on the cusp of a long and successful career at Dortmund.
Hendrik Bonmann: Goalkeeper
If there's one thing the German Bundesliga is good at, it's producing top-quality goalkeepers at a very young age.
Although Dortmund are in no rush to replace first-team shot-stopper Roman Weidenfeller, who is at the peak age of 33, Klopp does have options beyond his trusted keeper.
One of these is Hendrik Bonmann, the 20-year-old goalkeeper from the U-23 side, who arrived at the club from Rot-Weiss Essen before a brief spell at Schalke 04. A young talent that Dortmund were determined to poach before bigger fish came looking.
Bonmann displays all the characteristics that you would want in your goalkeeper. Quick off his feet, a strong shot-stopper and tall at 6'4'', Bonmann could actually perhaps be best described as something of a young Manuel Neuer. A true mountain of a man who will do anything to stop a shot getting past him.
Jonas Hofmann: Winger
Although many Dortmund fans will scoff at the prospect of Jonas Hofmann being anything but an established player within the first team, we must consider the fact that most outside the German top division will know very little about the young forward.
Klopp made a strong point of pushing through Hofmann's development last season, with regular appearances off the bench in both the Bundesliga and European Champions League. Here we saw the raw pace and talent of a 22-year-old who had clearly taken matches at youth level in his stride, but had now come up against a stronger foe.
Yet despite all that, Hofmann did manage to score three goals and create an impressive 10 assists over the course of the season, according to Transfermarkt.co.uk. If last season was this player's baptism of fire, then he handled it perfectly and looks set to become an even stronger presence in this side when the new campaign kicks off in just a few weeks' time.
Marvin Ducksch: Striker
In a similar manner to Sarr's current situation at the club, young striker Marvin Ducksch currently finds himself scoring goals and impressing fans and coaches alike, yet he still has a number of first-team players ahead of him.
Ducksch would have of course enjoyed the prospect of Robert Lewandowski moving on this summer—considering he managed to make six first-team appearances in the league last season, often coming on for the Polish forward—but will feel a little disheartened at the arrival of Ciro Immobile and Adrian Ramos.
Yet this 20-year-old youth product is very much on the up at Dortmund and with 12 goals and six assists in just 26 games for the second team last year, and following his loan move to Paderborn this season, Ducksch won't have to wait around for too long before he's matching such a record in the Bundesliga.