Many of the players on this hallowed list are what I like to call “balas de fogueo,” or blank bullets in Spanish. So much talent, and yet so little end product. Julian Brandt is the exact opposite. He’s a calm finisher with an end product far beyond his years, who tends to get himself into good scoring positions. Perhaps he could be considered a raumdeuter in that regard, but he is a versatile left midfielder for Roger Schmidt’s gegenpress. Germany and Bayern alike both are in dire need of rejuvenations in their attack to return to the top of the world, and Julian Brandt may just hold the key for both. Brandt is not an up-and-down, hug-the-touchline winger, but one who cuts inside and often leaves his fullback stranded. While he must improve defensively, Brandt is often finding himself in positions to score; he has played on either flank and as a second striker. He struggles against deep blocks though, and wherever he plays, he’ll be tested against some of the best defensive fullbacks in the world in Juanfran and Filipe Luís, when he faces off against the best deep block in football, Atlético Madrid, in February.
Photo Credit: AP