Youssoufa Moukoko: Analyzing the development of Borussia Dortmund’s wunderkind

Youssoufa Moukoko (Photo by THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP via Getty Images)
Youssoufa Moukoko (Photo by THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Youssoufa Moukoko scored the go-ahead goal and played a crucial role in Borussia Dortmund’s come-from-behind win against Freiburg on Friday. Now two matches into the 2022/23 Bundesliga season, we take a look at Moukoko’s journey over the last two years and give an analysis of one of BVB’s most talented youngsters.

Football is one of the world’s most interesting sports when it comes to young talent and player development. Those that are identified at an early age to be naturally gifted in the sport are often thrown into the mix with seasoned veterans far earlier than they would be in other sports around the world. The pressure is mounted early to perform at a high level, even though these players are still only teenagers.

Youssoufa Moukoko, Borussia Dortmund’s seventeen-year-old “wunderkind,” is no different than the countless other young players that have had such pressures placed on them. Brought into the BVB first-team at the age of just fifteen, Moukoko faced high expectations even before he was allowed by the Bundesliga to make his official first-team debut.

Moukoko’s track record in BVB’s youth academy spoke for itself. Playing for the U-17s at the age of twelve, he scored a mind-blowing 90 goals and added 16 assists in just 56 games. Between that and his time with the U-19s, Moukoko bagged an astounding 157 goals in just 97 games.  Seeing these statistics, it is no wonder that BVB were chomping at the bit to get Moukoko up to speed and give him his first-team chance as soon as possible.

The debut with the first-team came merely a day after Moukoko’s sixteenth birthday as he was substituted onto the pitch in the 85th minute against Hertha Berlin for a certain Norwegian striker named Erling Haaland. The debut was a sign of great things to come for the talented youngster.

Moukoko would go on to play in a total of fourteen games his first season, scoring three goals while playing 442 minutes before he suffered a ligament injury in his foot that forced him to miss the rest of the season.