14, April 2020
A groundbreaking rule change by the Bundesliga has put Borussia Dortmund’s free-scoring wonderkid Youssoufa Moukoko in line to smash one of the league’s all-time records.
Earlier this month, the Deutsche Fussball Liga (DFL) amended its rules to allow Bundesliga clubs to register youth footballers for senior matches at the age of 16, with the rule coming into effect from the start of the 2020/21 campaign.
The rule change comes as good news for Cameroon-born Moukoko, who could now become the league’s youngest-ever player when he makes his senior debut for Dortmund, having already earned a call-up to the Germany U19 team.
Moukoko has been a revelation at youth level for BVB, having scored 128 goals in just 94 appearances across U17 and U19 levels, and he became the youngest-ever goalscorer at the UEFA Youth League last year.
The 15-year-old is held in high regard by Dortmund’s senior coaching staff and, in an exclusive interview with Soccer Laduma in October, assistant manager Jorg Heinrich backed the youngster to break into the first team.
“There are very few players who can play the way he does and skip through the youth teams,” Heinrich shared. “I’m convinced that if he continues to develop as he has done since joining Dortmund, then he’ll play for the first team one day…”
The record is currently held by former Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin, now of Werder Bremen, who made his senior Bundesliga debut for the club in 2005 at the age of 16 years, 11 months and one day.