The 20 Bundesliga youngsters with the most potential

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald 30 Apr 2022 14:05 BST 3 min read
Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Florian Wirtz

Florian Wirtz is the Bundesliga player at the age of 21 or younger with the most potential, according to SciSports.

Using in-game data to calculate the performance of every Bundesliga player, the Bayer Leverkusen star has statistically the highest ceiling of any youngster plying their trade in Spain's top flight.

Still just 18, Wirtz made his top-flight debut in May 2020 and opened his Bundesliga account against Bayern Munich legend Manuel Neuer one month later, but he has continued to go from strength to strength.

The attacking midfielder has contributed 10 goals and 14 assists in all competitions this season, but his campaign was cut short in March due to a cruciate ligament injury.

Wirtz surprisingly makes the top spot ahead of Borussia Dortmund superstar Erling Haaland. The Norwegian has emerged as one of the most devastating forwards in world football over the last two seasons and is set for a €75 million transfer to Manchester City or Real Madrid in the next transfer window.

We stay with Dortmund for the player with the third-highest potential in Jude Bellingham. The England midfielder made the brave decision to leave for Germany in his teens and the decision has been vindicated as he is now considered one of the best young players in Europe.

Bayern Munich may have just won their 10th Bundesliga title, but we go down to fourth and fifth on the list for the Bavarian side's first entries, coming via Alphonso Davies and Jamal Musiala.

In sixth is RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol. He has only spent one season in the Bundesliga but has made his mark, and is equally as effective at centre-back as left-back.

It is back to Dortmund for number seven, Giovanni Reyna.

Rounding out the top 10 is Jeremie Frimpong, Mitchel Bakker and Dominik Szoboszlai.

PlayerParent ClubSciSports Potential
1. Florian WirtzLeverkusen154.1
2. Erling HaalandDortmund153.6
3. Jude BellinghamDortmund146.8
4. Alphonso DaviesBayern144.0
5. Jamal MusialaBayern133.2
6. Josko GvardiolRB Leipzig126.8
7. Giovanni ReynaDortmund122.8
8. Jeremie FrimpongLeverkusen122.3
9. Mitchel BakkerLeverkusen122.0
10. Dominik SzoboszlaiRB Leipzig116.7
11. Mohamed SimakanRB Leipzig116.2
12. Jan ThielmannKoln112.7
13. Odilon KoussounouLeverkusen112.3
14. Aster VranckxWolfsburg108.9
15. Piero HincapieLeverkusen108.8
16. Armel Bella-KotchapBochum108.5
17. Jonathan BurkhardtMainz107.5
18. Joe ScallyGladbach104.9
19. Youssoufa MoukokoDortmund104.2
20. Luca NetzGladbach103.7

How is the SciSkill ranking calculated?

SciSports explains how our development ratings are gathered:

“Among others, a positive development could be boosted by more playing time, playing time on a higher level or better performances on the pitch.

“A negative development could be due to the player being active on a lower level than he used to play, bad performances or the fact that he does not play that often as he used to do.

“A SciSkill Development of 0.0 could indicate that a player is performing exactly like our algorithm expects him to do. Another reason could be inactivity (e.g. a long-term injury or suspension).”