Few countries have the reputation for churning out exciting youngsters that the Netherlands boasts. Countless youngsters have honed their craft in the country's youth setup before blossoming into stars overseas, and the next player in line for superstardom could well be Melayro Bogarde.
According to Gianluca Di Marzio, both Barcelona and AC Milan have reached out to the representatives of Hoffenheim defender Bogarde over a possible January transfer, and with the 18-year-old out of contract in the summer, a move could be on the cards.
Let's take a closer look at the talented teenager.
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1. He's Got a Famous Uncle
Melayro might not be a household name yet, but the surname Bogarde is known all around Europe.
His uncle, Winston, is a former Dutch international who had spells with Ajax, Barcelona and Chelsea, winning two Eredivisie titles, two La Liga titles and the Champions League during his career.
Melayro's younger brother, Lamare, is currently impressing in Aston Villa's youth setup.
2. He's No Stranger to Big Interest
Bogarde has long been tracked by some of Europe's biggest sides.
Manchester United, City, Chelsea and Liverpool all sent scouts to monitor Bogarde when he was a 15-year-old in Feyenoord's youth setup, but none managed to lure him away.
However, he wasn't convinced by any and eventually took his talents to Hoffenheim.
3. He Was the One to Reject the English Sides
His potential move to England didn't break down because of a lack of offers. Bogarde had his pick of the Premier League's elite, but snubbed them all because he wasn't convinced they could offer him the right pathway to the senior side.
"I had very much in mind that I did not want to be loaned out," he told Voetbal International. "I didn't want to join a club that would always loan me out.
"I went to Hoffenheim because I knew I could become a senior there. I want to grow up at Hoffenheim."
4. He's a Record Breaker
His belief that Hoffenheim would offer him a route to the first team paid off as he became the youngest Dutch player in Bundesliga history when he made his debut in May 2020.
Deployed as a right-back, Bogarde's debut lasted just 45 minutes as the referee warned his manager at half-time that the teenager, who had already been booked, was one foul away from a red card.
It might not have been the best debut, but he did at least see his side score the only goal of the game before he was withdrawn.
5. He's Seen as a Modern Defender
Gone are the days when defenders were expected to be hulking physical specimens. Modern defenders are often slimmer and more agile, and Bogarde slots right into that category.
Bogarde enjoys playing with the ball at his feet and has previously admitted to AD that he's much more attacking than his uncle, and that's why Hoffenheim boss Alfred Schreuder opted to deploy him as a right-back.
It's not only his club that appreciate his ball-playing skills. Dutch Under-17 coach Peter van der Veen told FOX (via Voetbal Primeur): "It is a pleasure to watch him on the ball."
6. There Are Concerns Over His Future at Centre-Back
While Bogarde sees his future at centre-back, it's safe to say that a lot of those around him disagree.
Amid fears that he may lack the physicality to make it as a central defender, Bogarde has drawn comparisons to fellow Dutchman Frenkie de Jong, who can play at the back but is more at home at the base of the midfield.
His manager specifically dismissed comparisons to De Jong to FOX Sports, but did confess that Bogarde needs to work on his strength if he wants to play as a centre-back.
7. He Made the Euro Under-17 Team of the Tournament in 2019
Bogarde's Netherlands won the Euro Under-17 Championship in 2019, and the defender made it into the team of the tournament.
He was one of the stars of the competition and earned recognition for his efforts alongside the likes of Wolves' Ki-Jana Hoever and Inter duo Sebastiano Esposito and Lorenzo Pirola.
8. His Favourite Defender Is Virgil van Dijk (Obviously)
It'd be hard to find a young, Dutch defender who doesn't believe that Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk is the best in the world. That's an opinion Bogarde certainly shares.
Sitting down with Panna TV, Bogarde confessed that he also loves watching Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Raphael Varane and fellow Dutchman Matthijs de Ligt.
Van Dijk is right at the top of his standings, and Bogarde confessed he tries to take a lot from the Liverpool man's game.