The Bundesliga might have a perception of being little more than a breeding ground for European football's wealthier leagues to send unwanted youth players, but in fact the German top flight is littered with top-level talent that don't get the coverage they deserve.

The attention from outside of Germany is focused on the few world-class stars like Robert Lewandowski - he's scored nine goals in five games this season - or Marco Reus, but it's often players outside of Munich or Dortmund who should be making the newspaper headlines.


Not every Bundesliga player gets a chance to impress in Europe, and often even when they do they still give German football a bad name (we're looking at you, Gladbach), so here's some of the biggest stars in Fussball who you might not even know existed.

Maximilian Eggestein

Maximilian Eggestein

For some of you, Maxi Eggestein might be little more than that unusable Team of the Season card from FIFA 19. 

But the 22-year-old actually one of the most exciting midfield players in the Bundesliga right now and is on course to cement his place in the national team very soon, having already been selected in Joachim Löw's squad earlier this year where he remained an unused substitute.

Playing slightly deeper in midfield makes him much less of a star than the likes of Kai Havertz, but Eggestein is already one of the most reliable players in Florian Kohfeldt's squad and he's started 69 of Werder Bremen's last 73 league games, dating back to the start of the 2017/18 season.  

Wout Weghorst

Wout Weghorst

Remember that kid at school who was never any good at football but always got picked because he was freakishly tall?

Well, that's Wout Weghorst.

Except Weghorst is also pretty good at that football thing too.

The 27-year-old has only spent one full season in Germany but he's already among the most feared strikers in the Bundesliga, scoring 20 goals and claiming nine assists in just 39 league appearances for Wolfsburg.

At 6'6'', describing Weghorst as a handful for defenders is comfortably one of the understatements of the century, but it's the Dutchman's intelligence in the final third which make him much more than just a penalty box bully.

Alexander Nübel

Alexander Nuebel

We know, no one likes to see goalkeepers on these lists.

But as Alexander Nübel is (probably) less than one year away from joining either Bayern Munich or RB Leipzig on a free transfer, now's the best time to take not of Germany's next generational talent in between the sticks.

The 22-year-old has only made 30 first-team appearances since arriving from Paderborn in 2015, but Nübel has already made a lasting impression on Bundesliga fans and he's even been made Schalke's captain.

Nübel might not ever reach the same heights that Manuel Neuer or Marc-André ter Stegen have over the last decade, but he'll get pretty close.

Xaver Schlager

1. FC Union Berlin v VfL Wolfsburg - Pre-Season Friendly

Austria international Xaver Schlager is a new face for Bundesliga fans this season following a summer move for Red Bull Salzburg, but as a four-time winner of the other Bundesliga just south of Germany, he's widely being tipped for instant success at Wolfsburg.

The 21-year-old already has bucket loads of experience in European competitions and he's firmly part of manager Franco Foda's first-team at international level.

Schlager isn't the most flamboyant or tough-tackling player the Bundesliga has ever seen, but his technical ability and outstanding distribution from his left foot will instantly make him a target for European football's biggest clubs.

Jean-Philippe Mateta

Jean-Philippe Mateta

If it was possible to design the perfect striker on paper, most of us would be left with someone who's almost identical to Mainz's Jean-Philippe Mateta.

The former Lyon academy player stands at 6'4'' tall and boasts a lot more mobility than the aforementioned Weghorst, making one of the few strikers in Europe who really can (again, on paper) do it all.

He's made just 36 top-flight appearances for either Lyon or Mainz during his career, however, so Mateta still needs some time to develop a more natural instinct in front of goal. 

But the foundations have been set under manager Sandro Schwarz which could see Mateta, on top of joining a Champions League level club, drafted into the senior French national team before the next World Cup.

Tyler Adams

Tyler Adams

For some fans of the United States Men's National Team and 'soccer' as a whole, RB Leipzig midfielder Tyler Adams might already be overtaking Weston McKennie or Christian Pulisic as the country's most exciting young player.

The 20-year-old is yet to feature under Julian Nagelsmann this season as he continues his recovery from injury, but Adams proved during last season's Rückrunde that he's already one of the best defensive midfielders in the Bundesliga.

Being brought to Leipzig from their sister club in New York, Adams will become an integral part of the first-team in Saxony once he returns to fitness and his introduction could genuinely prove to be the difference between Die Roten Bullen simply challenging for the title or winning it this season.

Milot Rashica

Milot Rashica

He's hardly destined to make the headlines playing for Werder Bremen and Kosovo, but Milot Rashica could be a target for a handful of Champions League clubs next summer if he picks up where he left off last season.

He was brought to Germany from Vitesse Arnhem - yes, that is Chelsea's feeder club - as an exciting winger who would cause defences problems, even if his goalscoring record in the Netherlands still left a lot to be desired.

But the 23-year-old has completely transformed since joining Werder Bremen in 2018, scoring or assisting in every other game across all competitions.

Rashica still has all the natural pace and trickery that fans would expect from a modern-day winger, but his development in front of goal has been huge and he could take that even further this season following the loss of Max Kruse.

Arne Maier

Arne Maier

The 20-year-old has been out of competitive action for Hertha BSC since March and only has 42 Bundesliga appearances under his belt, but Arne Maier is already being tipped to succeed Toni Kroos in the national team over the next few years.

Built in a not too dissimilar mould to Maxi Eggestein at Werder Bremen, Maier has been able to thrive at Hertha after finding himself the perfect partner in midfield alongside the club's tough-tackling loanee, Marko Grujić.

He's arguably the most exciting German talent currently coming through in the Bundesliga, but Maier already has a lot more to offer than just potential and he'll likely be poached by one of the continent's truly elite clubs before the end of his contract in 2022.