Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Youssoufa Moukoko can become the Bundesliga’s youngest EVER debutant this weekend after new ruling allows him to play following his 16th birthday
Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Youssoufa Moukoko is set to become the Bundesliga’s youngest ever player once he turns 16 on Friday.
A new league ruling for this season now allows players to feature in Germany’s top-flight once they have turned 16, with the previous rules stating a youngster had to be the age of 16 years and six months before they could make their professional debut.
Moukoko, who turns 16 on Friday, has been training with Dortmund’s first team and is likely to be handed his debut in the coming weeks following his ridiculous goalscoring exploits for the club’s academy sides.
Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Youssoufa Moukoko can make his debut this weekend
The Cameroon-born forward is one of the world’s most highly-rated teenagers and already has a sponsorship deal with Nike worth a reported £9million.
He has featured in both Dortmund’s Under 17s and Under 19s teams, where he has scored a ridiculous 141 goals from 88 appearances.
Moukoko’s lethal finishing in front of goal has caught the attention of Dortmund boss Lucien Favre, who could now be ready to throw him in against Hertha Berlin this weekend – but Moukoko isn’t thinking about that just yet.
‘I’m not really thinking about whether it’ll happen on the 20th or the 21st,’ Moukoko told the club’s official website. ‘I know my debut will come at some point. I read what’s written in the media, but I’m not putting any pressure on myself.’
This season he has bagged an eye-watering 13 goals in four games for the U19s side and is now training alongside the likes of Marco Reus and Erling Haaland.
Moukoko, who turns 16 on Friday, is in line to become the Bundesliga’s youngest ever debutant
The record is currently held by Nuri Sahin (right), who set the record for Dortmund in 2005
And while he starstruck in his first session, the 15-year-old has kept a level-head around the club’s best players.
‘At my first training session I thought, “wow, where have I ended up?”‘ Moukoko added.
‘But I don’t listen to what other people say. I follow my own path. I just want to help the team. That’s why I’m here.
‘The first time I arrived I made a video because I’ll never experience another day like that. I could say, “now I’m with the first team” and it was a whole new feeling. It was amazing – it still hasn’t really sunk in.
‘I was so happy in training but afterwards I understood that it was what I’d worked for. I’m here now and I need to do my best.’
‘He might be playing in the big leagues now, but his missions remains exactly the same – goals. As a striker, you live for goals.’
The Cameroon-born striker is training with the first team after obliterating academy football
His showing in training didn’t take long for Haaland to stand up and take notice, who couldn’t believe the talent that Moukoko possessed.
Haaland, 20, admitted back in August: ‘I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 15-year-old that good. He’s a lot better than I was when I was 15.’
Currently, the youngest player to have ever featured in the Bundesliga was Nuri Sahin for Dortmund back in 2005, when the midfielder was handed his debut at the age of 16 years and 11 months.
Dortmund have a strong reputation for giving youth players the opportunity to feature and already have two more players in their ranks that are in the top 10 youngest players to play in the league.
Giovanni Reyna is the sixth youngest player to feature when he made his debut back in January while Jude Bellingham made his debut at 17 in September.
Erling Haaland (left) admits the German youth international is better than he was at 15
Moukoko was also named on the club’s B-list for their Champions League squad
Moukoko was also named on the club’s B-list for their Champions League squad but will only be able to feature in Europe once he’s turned 16.
The B-list is reserved for young, homegrown talent, a category that the German youth international falls into.
If he features on November 24 he will become the youngest player in the competition’s history, beating the record held by former Chelsea defender Celestine Babayaro.
The former Nigerian international was aged 16 years and 87 days when he played for Anderlecht against Steaua Bucharest back in 1994.