Keanan Bennetts: The Next English Wonderkid to Take Bundesliga by Storm?

 

The ever-growing trend of aspiring teenage youngsters from the Premier League transferring to the Bundesliga has continued this summer. Keanan Bennetts, the teenage prodigy developed at Tottenham Hotspur, has completed a summer move to German outfit Borussia Monchengladbach.

Premier League managers are currently reluctant to experiment with their youth academy, as the results-driven business has had a negative impact on the production of young players. Therefore, the likes of Jadon Sancho, Oliver Burke, Reece Oxford and Ademola Lookman have displayed admirable intuitiveness to accelerate their development outside England in the Bundesliga.
Bennetts is aiming to follow in their footsteps, after completing a transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Borussia Monchengladbach for a fee in the region of £2.3 million, according to Transfer Markt. He was promoted to Spurs’ under 18 set-up in 2015 and recorded fourteen goals in sixteen assists over 69 appearances in all competitions.
The teenage prodigy is predominantly a left midfielder, although he’s played at left back on rare occasions. He’s also represented England from under 16 level until under 19 level and is gradually progressing through the ranks on the international scene. Borussia Monchengladbach may have identified a hidden gem if Bennetts is to fulfil his potential and his statistics justify his glowing reputation after he bagged nine goals and eight assists during last season.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Bennetts has an exceptional physique and stature for one so young, standing at 6 foot and weighing in at 78 kilograms. This enables him to shield the ball from defenders to allow his team an adequate amount of time to break forward into attacking positions. It’s an invaluable asset in his game but he’s also technically adept and has an abundance of pace.
He’s been likened to Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, largely due to his roots at Tottenham Hotspur, but his capabilities at just 19 years of age suggest that he may be able to reach the same heights as the Welshman in the future. His versatility will create more playing opportunities for him in Germany, as he’s able to play at left back and on the left side of midfield. This is another similarity to Bale, who started his career at Southampton and the early stages of his Tottenham Hotspur spell at full-back.
His experience at left back and left midfield has educated him on the importance of tracking back and defending for the team. He’s been instilled with an admirable work rate during his primitive years and this will be respected in the tactically disciplined Bundesliga. His dribbling abilities combined with his frightening level of speed makes his a menace to the opposition and his attacking adventurism is refreshing to witness.
However, as in any young player, no matter how talented, there are improvements in specific areas that will need to be made in order for him to be transformed into the complete player. One of his clearest weaknesses is his crossing, which is evident due to his tendency to cut inside and create opportunities.
When he works his way into a crossing position, his cross is either far too weak and delivered with little conviction or lacks the accuracy to threaten the opposition. The final notable weakness was his inability to effectively use his weaker foot, which is a regularity in modern football. Fortunately, he’s stationed on the left side of midfield, which means he’ll have more opportunities to cross the ball with his strongest foot, but improving the quality of his right foot will expand his level of threat in the final third.

What’s Next for Him?

From the evidence of his primitive years, Bennetts has a very bright future and his decision to transfer to Germany may accelerate his development. The likes of Ademola Lookman and Jadon Sancho benefitted from moving to Germany and Bennetts will be aiming to have a similar impact in the Bundesliga.
Sancho was a promising prospect in Manchester City’s academy but was unable to make a single first team appearance at competitive level. However, after bravely packing his bags and moving to Dortmund, Sancho has become an influential member at the Westfalenstadion and his delivered a series of exemplary performances.
Lookman had enjoyed a far more inclusive role at Everton, but was still unsatisfied with his input at Goodison Park. He’d scored three goals in 24 appearances since joining from Charlton Athletic in January 2017 but he exploded into life by bagging five goals in 11 appearances during his loan spell at RB Leipzig in the second half of last season.
Upon arriving at Borussia Park, Keanan Bennetts will be contending for places with the likes of Thorgan Hazard, Fabian Johnson, Ibrahima Traore, Jonas Hofmann and Patrick Hermann. This suggests that he’s unlikely to be first-choice in his position but if he translates his form at youth level onto the senior scene then he’s set to become a crucial player in Monchengladbach.

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