Prolific with the Under-19 side, the forward should be thrust into the first-team picture, Lars Ricken has said
Youssoufa Moukoko should be given his chance in Borussia Dortmund’s first team, according to youth-team boss Lars Ricken.
Moukoko will turn 16 next Friday but has already been lighting it up for the Under-19 team this season.
In just three matches for the U19s, he has scored 10 goals and laid on another one. Indeed, he has netted at least a hat-trick in all three matches he has played this season and has captained the team on each occasion.
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Ricken says that the young forward has earned his chance to play in the Bundesliga.
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“I hope he can fulfil his dream because he deserves it,” he told Welt am Sonntag. “He’s a great and very sociable guy who’s worked hard to get to where he is.”
Ricken is well placed to understand Moukoko’s feelings, having been something of a BVB prodigy himself. Although he went on to score a goal in the 1997 Champions League final, in which Dortmund beat Juventus 3-1, there is a sense that he failed to fulfil his potential, despite 14 years at the club.
Nevertheless, he holds no fears about throwing Moukoko in early.
“There’s no youth player who has had as many minutes of play and training as he has in recent years,” he said. “This is an indicator that he is able to cope with the stresses of professional football.”
Meanwhile, Nuri Sahin, who is presently the club’s youngest-ever player, does not believe fielding the forward would be wise.
“You’re not doing a young player a favour by throwing him in too early,” he said.
“I am sure that there is no better club for young players. Especially because I know the people involved, but can he handle it if he runs up to the goalkeeper alone four times in front of 80,000 fans and still doesn’t score?”
Dortmund will play Hertha Berlin in their next Bundesliga match. Lucien Favre’s side currently lie third in the standings, three points behind leaders Bayern Munich, having suffered a 3-2 defeat to the Champions League winners when they met in their previous outing.