Jann-Fiete Arp: Who is the youngster making waves in the Bundesliga?
Only football enthusiasts or prospect aficionados will have heard the name, Jann-Fiete Arp. Others probably don't know who he is and definitely won't have watched him play. Fortunately, we have you covered.
Arp has made the headlines in recent weeks, despite playing for Hamburger SV, a relatively small Bundesliga club. If you aren't already familiar with the youngster, it's time to check some of his highlights. Arp's name will soon be known throughout Europe. He is too good to remain an unknown player for much longer.
Arp is a 17-year-old striker who quickly rose to Hamburg's senior squad this season. He began the 2017-18 campaign as an alternative for the attacking end. Although the coaching staff realised his potential, Arp was low down in the pecking order behind names such as Bobby Wood and Filip Kostic.
Since his promotion from Hamburg's U17 side, Arp has exceeded all expectations. Through nine Bundesliga games, he has scored two goals. There is no question he deserves to represent the senior team. He registered seven goals in only three matches in the A-Junioren Bundesliga Nord/Nordost. Playing youth football no longer presented a challenge. That is repeating on the international stage, too.
Arp scored four goals in five matches for Germany in the U17 World Cup in India this year. His scoring record with the U17 German squad is quite impressive having struck 15 times in 17 matches. It is just a matter of time before he makes the jump to the U19 and U21 sides, meaning it's likely he will feature in the Youth European Championships sooner than later.
Arp's playing style is simple, yet effective. He's a typical centre-forward who makes an impact between the opposing centre-backs. He can finish in close spaces while moving quite well inside the box. He has been compared to former Germany internationals such as Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski, although Arp also has attributes that bring back memories of older legends, Rudi Völler and Jurgen Klinsmann.
Arp became the youngest goalscorer in Hamburg's history, and he was also the first player born in 2000 or later to score in the Bundesliga. All signs indicate the sky is his limit.
Chelsea, Real Madrid, Arsenal and both Manchester clubs have made enquires. But now is not the time for Arp to make a move. Look what happened to Martin Odegaard when he joined Madrid from Norwegian side Stromsgodset. Odegaard needed a few more years to further accelerate his development before lining up alongside the Galacticos. The same applies to the Hamburg youngster. Arp's chances of switching to either Manchester team or Chelsea also seem slim. Perhaps joining Arsenal would be a good move in the future. It's still early to think that far ahead, though. Arp must finish the season at Hamburg then see where life takes him.
Only one thing is certain: Jann-Fiete Arp is an extremely talented player. Even though he needs to improve in several areas, there is no doubting his ability. Furthermore, at only 17, he has plenty of time to develop into a truly special forward.