In a football world filled with countless stars of today, so many of us are curious about who is waiting in the wings. That search for that next wunderkind; a youngster who has the potential to make us stand up and marvel at how they are masters of their craft despite their tender age, is always on the minds of millions of fans around the world.
With this in mind, we at 101 Great Goals continue our weekly series that takes a look at U21 players across the world during the 2022-23 season. Some of them you will have no doubt heard of, while we hope to bring you a few new names to spark your curiosities every now and then.
Name: Jamie Bynoe-Gittens
Place of Birth: London, England
National team caps: 4 (England U19)
Current club: Borussia Dortmund
Current Market Value (per Transfermarkt): €4m (£3.4m)
Potential suitor(s): N/A
The commuting lanes that have long existed between England and Germany date back thousands of years, with ancient peoples arriving on English shores as early as the 5th century AD when two dominant Germanic peoples - the Angles, and the Saxons - migrated to what is now East Anglia as well as southern England, setting the precedent for what would eventually become a unified Kingdom of England by the mid-900s.
Since then what is now England and Germany have been intrinsically linked politically, economically, socially, and militarily - both as allies and antagonists - in a relationship that has defined not only Europe but the world at large. In the football realm, the same dynamic exists.
But in an opposite path when compared to human history, young English footballers are migrating to the development centers at top German clubs in the Bundesliga in recent years in a bid to receive a more focused education and first-team minutes at a young age in comparison to many Premier League proving grounds.
The likes of Jadon Sancho, Jude Bellingham, Reece Oxford, Ademola Lookman, Ryan Sessegnon, Emile Smith Rowe, Omar Richards, Reiss Nelson, Demarai Gray, Clinton Mola, and Keanan Bennetts have all left English shores to develop in Germany either on loan or in full deals across the last four or five years, with Sancho and Bellingham existing as the standard bearers for what can be achieved by going abroad.
Another young English talent that could be set for a similar trajectory is England U19 international Jamie Bynoe-Gittens.
Like Sancho and Bellingham before him, the London native left England before his eighteenth birthday as a bright-eyed yet talented 16-year-old after spending time in multiple clubs at youth level including Chelsea, Reading, and finally, Manchester City before Dortmund came calling in the summer of 2020 to pluck him out of the youth setup at the Man City EDS and Academy.
Bynoe-Gittens had to wait for his chance to plant roots in the Ruhr valley, however, through a combination of the Covid-19 pandemic raging across the globe and a serious injury (torn ligaments) that kept him out of action for four months.
But once he regained fitness, the English winger starred in the UEFA Youth League to the tune of 6 goals in just 4 matches and eventually earned up into the senior setup by former Dortmund manager Marco Rose.
Making his debut in mid-April during last season, it started to become clear just what Bynoe-Gittens would bring to the table moving forward, and it did not take long during for those qualities to come to the fore in the current 2022-23 Bundesliga campaign.
Though he was not in the Dortmund squad that opened the season with a 1-0 win at home against struggling Bayer Leverkusen, Bynoe-Gittens did make the bench as Die Schwarzgelben traveled to the foot of the Black Forest to clash with Christian Streich’s dark horse SC Freiburg outfit.
Breisgau-Brasilianer took the lead in the 35th minute through Austrian international Michael Gregoritsch, but in the 64th minute, Bynoe-Gittens made his first appearance of the season and immediately put himself to helping Dortmund claw their way back into proceedings after a turgid first-half. Thirteen minutes later, he would bag his first professional goal in the famous black and yellow kit before fellow youngster Youssoufa Moukoko and winger Marius Wolf drove the club to a vital 3-1 win against a growing top-four rival.
His pace and willingness to drive play when on the ball was a key factor in helping turn the tide at Europa-Park Stadion, which showed shades of how influential Sancho was for the club during his highly-successful stint in Dortmund colors.
With his goal against Freiburg, Bynoe-Gittens became the third Englishman to score a goal for Dortmund, following in the footsteps of the aforementioned Sancho and Bellingham before him, making the German giants the only Bundesliga club to boast three English goalscorers in the competition’s history.
He was immediately rewarded with a place in the matchday XI the following weekend and completed 62-minutes of action against SV Werder Bremen but was not on the pitch when Dortmund collapsed in historic fashion to blow a two-goal lead in the final five minutes to lose 3-2 in front of the home support.
It is unclear if Dortmund headmaster Edin Terzić will continue to start Bynoe-Gittens or if he will revert to more seasoned options once his full compliment of players is available, but the boy from London has already proven he can make an impact despite still being just eighteen. He will have to start small, but with Bellingham at the club to help him along the way as a youngster who has walked the same road before, anything is possible this season.
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