Germany has an inexplicable ability to produce top talent one after the other, with exciting youngsters popping up on a regular basis. Players like Mario Götze, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Andre Schürrle can almost be seen as the previous generation of talent; despite being only 21, 21 and 23 years of age respectively. In recent times, new talents have emerged and are ready to set the world alight – Leon Goretzka, Matthias Ginter, Erik Durm, Timo Horn, Jonas Hofmann and Emre Can are but a few. Regardless of how highly these youngsters are rated, the performances of late of a particular young man are getting some highly deserved attention.
Kevin Volland, aged 21, plays as forward for Bundesliga side Hoffenheim. He has been compared to fellow German, Lukas Podolski, as they are quite similar in many aspects. Even though Kevin Volland is mainly a right winger, he has the ability to play in a central role or even on the left, and has also featured as a striker. Much like Podolski, Kevin’s attacking game is quite complete, as he does not only have the ability to find the back of the net, but also to set up his team-mates. In the 2012-2013 season (taking discrepancies between multiple sources in account), he racked up six goals and somewhere between seven and twelve assists; quite a modest return for the then 20-year old. At the time of writing, he also managed seven goals and one assist in the 2013-2014 Bundesliga season.
Kevin’s game is not only limited to the ability to shoot and make a pass, as he has much more to him than that. In earlier days, he played as a striker, and still boasts some of those instincts - running in behind the defender or off his shoulder, and the ability to find himself in the right places and sniff out chances. But apart from that, he is creative, puts his hand up when his team needs him, has quite the turn of pace, and he has excellent dribbling technique. The thing that makes him the most difficult to defend against, though, is his low centre of gravity; this allows him a greater sense of balance, and the ability to change his movement’s direction at speed with some ease. Put everything together, add a little bit of grit, and you’ve got yourself a brilliant player, able to take on the most gifted of defenders – and come out on top.
It is though important to note that, as with all good players (bar Messi, Ronaldo and maybe Tom Cleverley), he has his weaknesses. Not tracking back on a constant basis, losing possession cheaply, sloppy passing and lapses in discipline – it’s easy to see that the youngster has still somewhat to learn.
It’s not a case of if Kevin Volland has the ability to perform at big European club, but if he has the willingness and smarts to reach his potential. A move to a bigger club beckons, BUT Kevin should be wary; move too early and stand the chance of stagnating, or wait till too late and miss out on a dream move.