- Talented young striker Werner
- Lahm’s successor Kimmich
- Sule and Brandt show great promise
The world had not heard of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski before the FIFA Confederations Cup was held in their homeland in 2005. The pair played their way into contention that summer before featuring in all seven matches at the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, and eight years later they became world champions.
"For me as a young player, the Confederations Cup was a fantastic challenge and great fun, and I took those experiences with me to the World Cup,“ explained Podolski. "It’s an opportunity for many talented youngsters to make a name for themselves."
FIFA.com identifies four young Germany hopefuls who could follow in these great footsteps.
Joshua Kimmich Age: 22
Club: Bayern Munich
Despite originally training as a central midfielder, Kimmich has been increasingly deployed at right-back for the national team. Though he does not possess phenomenal pace, his reading of the game, dangerous crosses and agility are all reminiscent of Philipp Lahm. Nevertheless, he has established himself as the first choice on the right side of defence since UEFA EURO 2016 and is likely to play in this position for Bayern in the coming season after a rather frustrating 2016/17.
"Kimmich is unbelievable. I’ve rarely seen any player cross the ball so well."
Germany striker Sandro Wagner ** **
Timo Werner Age: 21
Club: RB Leipzig
Known for his lightning-fast counterattacking when he made his Bundesliga breakthrough for Stuttgart four years ago, Werner has developed his game significantly since moving to Leipzig last summer and is now almost the complete striker. He finished last season as the leading German marksman on 21 goals and can also play on the wings. Many consider him to be among the national team’s best attacking prospects.
"He’s the hottest property in German football."
Werner’s club coach Ralph Hasenhuttl
Niklas Sule Age: 21
Club: Bayern Munich
Sule’s positional play, ball control, passing accuracy, exceptional tackling skills and strong aerial ability make him one of Germany’s most sought-after young central defenders. Despite suffering a cruciate ligament injury in 2014, he has already made over 100 Bundesliga appearances and is now taking his career to the next level by moving from Hoffenheim to Bayern this summer.
*They said *"Sule is a huge talent who deserves to take the next step."*
Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann*
Julian Brandt Age: 21
Club: Bayer Leverkusen
Brandt arrived at Leverkusen from Wolfsburg as a teenager and quickly became acquainted with the Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League. The 2014 U-19 European champion’s combination of strong technique, dribbling ability, assists, goalscoring threat and pace enable him to shine either as a playmaker or winger. In some ways he is reminiscent of Marco Reus.
"I’m not interested in silverware right now. I’m only interested in seeing how I can develop as a footballer."