In the Bundesliga, significantly fewer U19 players received professional contracts with their clubs this summer. A consequence of the corona pandemic?
Hajo Sommers, president of the regional soccer division Rot-Weiß Oberhausen, is known for his clear words. “The old age groups in the U19 teams will have difficulties landing anywhere. I would change my job image one day and not go pro if I belonged to that year, ”the 62-year-old said in March. He should be proved right.
In summer 2020, a total of 22 U19 players in the Bundesliga signed a professional contract with their clubs. In the summer of 2021, that number fell to twelve.
These U19 players received a professional contract in the Bundesliga in 2021/22:
FC Bayern Munich: none
Borussia Dortmund: none
RB Leipzig: Joscha Wosz (18 / attacking midfield), Ben Klefisch (18 / central midfield)
Bayer Leverkusen: Yannik Schlößer (19 / right winger)
Borussia Mönchengladbach: none
VfL Wolfsburg: Philipp Schulze (18 / goalkeeper), Anselmo Garcia McNulty (18 / central defender), Kobe Hernandez-Foster (19 / left defender)
Eintracht Frankfurt: Martin Pecar (18 / left winger)
1899 Hoffenheim: Nahuel Noll (18 / goalkeeper)
Hertha BSC: none
VfB Stuttgart: Jordan Meyer (19 / Defensive Midfield)
SC Freiburg: none
FSV Mainz 05: none
FC Augsburg: Lasse Günther (18 / right winger / U19 Bayern Munich)
Union Berlin: none
1.FC Cologne: none
Arminia Bielefeld: none
Greuther Fürth: Lasse Schulz (18 / goalkeeper)
VfL Bochum: Luis Hartwig (18 / center forward)
RWE NLZ boss: “As a club you naturally take the risk”
The consequences of the corona pandemic cannot be dismissed out of hand. After all, match practice is the be-all and end-all for young up-and-coming footballers Christian Flüthmann, Head of the young talent center (NLZ) of Rot-Weiss Essen, in a RevierSport interview at the end of June: “I find it very difficult for the players who will be out of the U19s this summer. I ask myself the question: How should a sports director of a professional club judge a U19 player who has not played in the last year? It’s difficult for the boys to digest too. As a club you naturally take a risk and have to see how good a player was before. ”
With the players below the U19, Flüthmann believes “that they will find their way back quickly. There has already been one or the other test match and you saw that things were going in the right direction again. ”But one thing is clear: the pandemic has also robbed them of a valuable year of personal development.