Wirtz the latest Bundesliga wunderkind to draw attention
Bayer Leverkusen will once again be thrust into the limelight outside of Germany’s boarders thanks to the rising star that is Florian Wirtz.
The German wunderkind is a product of 1.FC Köln’s youth set up before moving to the BayArena in January 2020, before making his full debut for Die Werkself in May of the same year.
Just 18-years-old and having already been capped three times by the full national team, Wirtz has already broken multiple records in the Bundesliga including becoming Leverkusen’s youngest-ever debutant, the youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history (later broken by Youssoufa Moukoko), and the first to reach five Bundesliga goals before turning eighteen.
Florian Wirtz has now scored or assisted in every Bundesliga game he’s played this season:
🅰️ vs. Gladbach
⚽️🅰️ vs. Augsburg
⚽️🅰️ vs. Dortmund
⚽️🅰️ vs. Stuttgart
⚽️ vs. Mainz
18 years old. 🤩 pic.twitter.com/Wejnzl4b9e
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 25, 2021
Leverkusen sporting director and ten-year former midfielder Simon Rolfes opened up about the growing interest around Wirtz during an interview with Stats Perform, who has already smashed 4-goals and added 4-assists in just five appearances this season;
“He has a long contract until 2026. We do not have to sell players early. We want to develop him, develop our team and club with him.
So, there are rumours, okay. You cannot avoid that, but it’s not our goal to sell him. The players at one time or point in their career make the next step to world-class level, that’s okay for us, but not too early. He is a really young player.
That was also with Kai [Havertz] – he was also extraordinary and some years with us and then maybe there’s the next step. But not too early.”
Door left open for future departure
Of course, Bayern Munich have already logged interest in the midfield prodigy, and Premier League rivals Chelsea and Arsenal are also said to be interested in the Pulheim-native.
But Wirtz and his father/agent Hans-Joachim have recently weighed-in regarding his future and any potential destinations;
“Florian definitely wants to play a good role in Leverkusen for the next two years. What comes next is not yet known. His focus now is only on Bayer and the national team.”
An easy comparison can be made with current Chelsea midfielder and former Leverkusen starlet Kai Havertz, with both players able to boast tactical versatility as well as technical grace and goals from midfield.
But Wirtz has arguably had a bigger and more immediate impact at the BayArena, and should he remain at the club for another two years without jumping at the first big chance that comes up, there are few top clubs in Europe that will be unwilling to do battle for his services.