Following on from last week’s exciting news that the entire Bundesliga is now licensed by Sorare, our resident scouting expert Sam Dunwell returns to see if he can repeat some of his successes from earlier this year. Using a data driven analytical approach, Sam has identified six exciting prospects who could go on to be bargain acquisitions in the Sorare gameworld.
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Luca Netz – DL
A regular starter for Germany at U-15, U-17 and now U-21 level, Netz is a player who will be familiar to German readers. The young left back came through the Hertha Berlin academy before joining his current club Borussia Monchengladbach in the summer of 2021. Netz made his professional debut for Hertha BSC in the Bundesliga in January 2021, coming on as a substitute in the game against relegation threatened Schalke 04.
Weeks later, he scored his first Bundesliga goal in the 82nd minute to earn his side a point against VFB Stuttgart. Borussia Monchengladbach paid around £3m to take him from Hertha in Summer 2021 which could end up proving to be a shrewd piece of business. The teenager recently revealed that Manchester City tried to lure him to the club when he was just 15 years old, a move he rejected as “nonsense” – speaking to Germany newspaper Bild he said – “I have a clear plan, and it’s simply too early for the Premier League. It’s important for me to play for Borussia, to gain experience and to develop steadily. Then we will see what happens in a few years.” There is no doubt that this is a player who could well be going places as his career develops.
Joe Scally – DR
From left back to right back, we turn our attentions to American youth sensation Joe Scally who also plies his trade with Borussia Monchengladbach. Scally signed his first professional contract with New York City on March 21, 2018 at the age of 15,and in doing so became the second youngest professional soccer player in the United States, after Freddy Adu.
Readers of this website will know that American youth players have a strong track record in the Sorare gameworld and this 18 year old could well be another player which fits that particular mould. Earlier this month Scally scored his first Bundesliga goal against VfL Wolfsburg in the final minutes of the game and has established himself as a regular starter already. With two peak scores in SO5 already this season, Scally is sure to be a teenager who attracts plenty of attention as he plays more and more first team football.
Noah Katterbach – WBL
Another player who has represented his country at multiple youth levels, the current U-21 left back Noah Katterbach is a player I have been tracking for some time in the hope his team may be licensed by Sorare. The 20 year old has featured in plenty of first team football already for FC Koln and is highly rated by both his club and the international setup at the German national side.
On 19 August 2020, Katterbach was awarded the Fritz Walter Medal in Gold for the second time, this time honouring him as the best German player in the under-19 age group. Although he recently signed a contract that will keep him at Koln until the end of the 2023/24 season, there is a widespread expectation that the player will move on to further his career at a side more likely to challenge for honours. This may be a player card which is simply too good to pass up on the opportunity of owning.
Arne Maier – MC
It feels like time may be running out for Arne Maier, a player who has been around for seemingly forever but is still only 22 years old. Maier sneaks into this article not as a teenage sensation – three years ago he was hailed by the Bundesliga as the ‘flagship’ of the national academy system – but as a former wonderkid who now needs to put the stamp on his potential. Maier has seen plenty of first team football over the past couple of seasons, with 16 appearances at Bielfeld last season and featuring in six matches for his current loan side FC Augsburg.
Given the number 10 shirt this season is a reflection of the belief that his best midfield role may be of that as a creator rather than the deep playing playmaker of his youth football days. At 19 years old he was described as ‘superb in finding space between the opposition lines…..as well as playing through balls and managing the match from his central midfield position.’ Comparisons with Michael Ballack may have been slightly premature but if Maier can make it all click over the next couple of seasons then he may well be able to impose his ability on the league around him.
Jan Thielmann – AMR / FC
Another exciting FC Koln player, this 19 year old is a player who has already established himself as a Bundesliga hot prospect. Sporting Director Horst Heldt has been effusive in his praise of Thielmann, saying: “He is very, very advanced for his age, both physically and mentally, and he also has a very good understanding of the game. We trust him that he will hold his ground in the long term.”
In September 2021 Thielmann was due to make his debut for the Germany U-21 side but had to withdraw from the squad to an unspecified illness. With 41 Bundesliga appearances already, Thielmann is surely destined for bigger things and could well be on the move next summer despite recently signing a contract extension in April 2021.
Emrehan Gedikli – STC
We finish with a player who has been available on Sorare for some time given the existing licensing deal which was in place with Bayer Leverkusen. With only Bundesliga appearance to his name, Gedikli is a potential breakout star waiting for his moment to demonstrate the ability which shone through at youth level. A player who is comfortable as both a conventional forward and as a ‘shadow striker’ behind a number 9, the 18 year old has represented Germany at every youth level to date.
Jan Hoepner, Head of Youth Football at Bayer was extremely positive about Gedikli’s chances of establishing himself as a top talent. “It’s important for him to get match practice. Emre definitely has special qualities in front of goal. He’s a classical striker who measures himself by goals he scores, he’s very ambitious but also thinks a lot.” Gedikli cards aren’t especially cheap in the world of Sorare but they are still significantly underpriced if this exciting teenager can realise his potential.