Abdullah Abdullah picks out three exciting young talents from the Frauen-Bundesliga who he thinks will have heads turning next season.
The women’s football season is upon us and every year the talent in women’s football is getting better.
With the standards improving year after year, we’ve seen how the UEFA Women’s Champions League landscape has evolved with Barcelona emerging as new champions and Chelsea reaching their first final. In the process, young players have become increasingly important and many have made the step up to senior squads. Aitana Bonmatí, Niamh Charles, Sandy Baltimore, Lena Oberdorf, and Delphine Cascarino are just a handful of players who proved to be integral squad members for their respective teams.
Last season, German football went through a bit of a boom in the women’s game. Bayern Munich broke Wolfsburg’s dominance domestically but in Europe, both teams showed signs of encouragement; Bayern reached a semi-final and lost to Chelsea in the second leg while Wolfsburg lost to the same opponents in the earlier round but could be considered unlucky not to have gone through after an unlucky first leg.
A lot of the good performances came from young German-based stars such as Lena Oberdorf, Lea Schüller, and Sydney Lohmann. However, some of the Frauen-Bundesliga’s talent still remains hidden. The aim of this article is to unearth and showcase three of the next generation of attacking talents who could make an impact on the big stage in Germany.
21-year-old striker Nicole Anyomi plies her trade with SGS Essen and is slowly emerging as a key player for the German side. Having played 931 minutes in the last 12 months, she has started to show her talent having scored 4 goals and 2 assists in that time. Essen’s 4-4-2 formation was used in 51% of games in the 2020/21 season with Anyomi appearing on both the left and right side of the front two at times.
A versatile player who has played as both a centre forward and left-sided inside forward in a front three. TransferLab has three profile types when it comes to measuring and identifying types of strikers and Anyomi clearly ranks high in two of them:
Striker – All Round: 94
Striker – Target Striker: 82
Striker – Goalscorer: 93
Clearly, Anyomi is a goal-scorer, a player with the skill set to take up good positions on the pitch and find pockets of space in the 18-yard box to score goals. Below is her Striker – All Round profile:
If you look at her heat map (on the right of the image), you can see that Anyomi is not one to settle in one place. Her movement patterns show a capacity to constantly move and pop up in different areas of the pitch. Though some of this can be attributed to her playtime as a left winger, it’s interesting to see how she interacts with her teammates.
There are four qualities from this profile that can be highlighted: Carries, Dribbles, Finishing and Passes into the box. In each metric, Anyomi is ranked in the high 80 percentiles which gives us a better indication of her playstyle. A dynamic centre forward, she can carry the ball forward and is an adept finisher whilst also being able to create chances for the other forwards.
Using the Similar Players tool in TransferLab, Anyomi compares well to some top-class forwards, including Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Lea Schüller:
Katoto has been one of Division 1 Féminine’s best strikers and her profile speaks for itself. It‘s easy to see why Anyomi is compared to a player of Katoto’s quality. When we compare her to the top four strikers of the list, Anyomi is comparable in the metrics she thrives in.
There is room to grow for the young centre forward, and with regular game time, we’ll start seeing her flourish into a very good striker. She has the capacity to have a big impact this season and we could well see her move onto a bigger club in a year’s time.
Klara Bühl is another immense talent coming out of Bayern Munich.
Many fans of the women’s game will know about Lea Schüller but Bühl has quietly gone about her business wracking up several goals and assists. The forward registered 8 goals and 7 assists across 1,450 minutes last season averaging 0.5 goals per 90 minutes and 0.43 assists per 90 minutes. Only 20, Bühl has emerged as a viable first-team player and though she’s naturally a left winger she is very capable of playing centre forward.
As far as her TransferLab profiles go, Bühl has an extremely high rating with both positions up in the high 90s.
Winger – All Round: 99
Striker – All Round: 97
Her attributes are very much geared towards being a provider and link player from the wide areas:
Though the profile above shows here metrics in a striker profile, there are some that are transferable when playing as a left winger. The only real ‘weakness’ comes in her finishing which ranks lowest of all her attributes.
Bühl’s heatmap is busy and is exactly what you’d expect from a winger-cum-striker. She’s heavily involved on the left but equally makes an effort to move into the middle and create chances there. Her seven assists last season is a reflection of this.
Bühl is another player who compares favourably to French striker Katoto and teammate Schüller in the TransferLab Similar Player tool:
If Bühl can continue her rapid rise and development, then there is little doubt she can become Bayern Munich’s future alongside Schüller and Guilia Gwinn.
Given her age, Bühl is level with the two strikers in some aspects which shows her vast potential in the years to come. Though the other two strikers are only two to three years older, Bühl can really develop her game in that time and catch up to them. She’s already playing in a high-quality team who’ve won the league so it’s only a matter of time before she becomes a consistent world-beater. There’s a sense that this season could be a big one for the German.
Lastly, we have Hoffenheim’s highly-rated winger, Jule Brand.
The left winger is just 18-years-old but has already caught the eye with some sensational performances. In what was her first season for the first team she registered 1,169 minutes and scored 5 goals along with 5 assists.
The German club utilised a 4-3-3 (38%) and 4-1-4-1 (28%) last season in which Brand played as a left winger. Her profile scores as a winger are quite good for her age.
Winger – All Round: 98
Winger – Classic Winger: 96
Winger – Wide Playmaker: 90
Clearly, Brand has the makeup of a classic, versatile winger who can create and score goals. She’s a very quick and direct winger who excels at dribbling past players and creating goal-scoring chances. Being able to create opportunities and taking the ball forward without being dispossessed is vital that also makes her a focal point. Her All Round profile is remarkable and rivals players who are a few years older than her.
Brand’s heatmap is what you’d expect from a classic winger. Heavy activity on the left wing with some movement in the defensive third suggests that she works hard for the team. If we see her position map, it shows that she can play as a left-back which backs this notion.
Overall, the young winger is raw which is seen in her touches in the final third, passes into the box, and carries. With age and coaching, those attributes can be improved upon but the ingredients to become a world-class winger is there.
The most interesting part of this player similarity report is that Lauren Hemp is considered the closest match:
If Brand can replicate Hemp’s output and match the performances that she’s made for Manchester City, then the German will become subject to bids from every top European club. The City winger has been in sensational form and almost unplayable at times. Brand displays similar characteristics in her game and a good season for Hoffenheim could prove to be her grand entrance.
Comparing Brand to her four closest matches, we can see that Hemp is the standout performer. However, Brand does match up well in certain attributes such as dribbles:
Brand is probably the player with the most potential but furthest behind which is understandable given her age.
The three players mentioned here are part of the next generation of attackers coming out of the Frauen-Bundesliga and should set the world alight in the coming years. There are a few more names to highlight which can only mean that women’s football development is going in the right direction.