Of all the clubs to benefit from the untimely demise of Borussia Dortmund, it’s Wolfsburg that have really kicked on and taken advantage.
Currently lying in second place in the Bundesliga, they have little hope of catching leaders Bayern, but do have a comfortable cushion over the chasing pack.
And so Champions League football awaits Dieter Hecking’s improving side – but even this might not be enough to keep the sharks of Europe from circling and snapping up the plethora of young talent at Wolfsburg
Kevin De Bruyne
The Belgian midfield maestro will be familiar to English football fans after his brief spell with Chelsea. While De Bruyne has always be known as a young player with immense talent, it was his performances for his country in the World Cup which really highlighted his abilities. He set up Marouane Fellaini’s goal in the group game against Algeria, and also got on the scoresheet himself in the 2-1 win over the USA in the last 16.
De Bruyne has carried that form into the Bundesliga campaign, notching 10 goals in 29 appearances and creating many more – including a superb brace against Bayern. Equally adept on with flank or in the ‘number ten’ role, the 23-year-old has been attracting the attention of the likes of Juventus, PSG and both Manchester clubs.
A cultured defender with a glorious left foot, Rodriguez has improved to an extent that he is now thought of as one of Europe’s hottest young talents.
The Swiss international has all of the components to his game required in the modern left back – comfortable both in defence and attack, happy with the ball at his feet, able to provide deadly crosses into the box. He also takes a mean set piece too, and is definitely one to watch.
A player who has yet to fulfil his undoubted potential is Ivan Perisic. The Croatian is well known in German football, having plied his trade at Dortmund before making the switch to Wolfsburg.
Quick, strong and good with both feet, Perisic isn’t a guaranteed started at the moment – and this will alert the European big boys who are ready to take a chance on a rough diamond in the summer transfer window.
‘Big Bas’ has been a revelation for Wolfsburg this season; banging in 13 goals in 17 Bundesliga games and leading the line with strength and guile.
Measuring 6ft 5in tall, Dost poses an aerial threat but is decent with the ball at his feet too – making him the ideal lone striker. It’s no wonder scouts from across Europe have been tracking his progress.
Something of an unknown quantity – but no less exciting for it – is 20-year-old Maximilian Arnold.
He made history at 17 by becoming the youngest ever player to appear in the Wolfsburg first team, and became their youngest ever scorer soon after. He’s represented Germany at every level, and made his debut in the senior side in 2014.
The European giants will be licking their lips with anticipation at signing a star in the making.