Moukoko turns 16 next Friday but has already been lighting it up for the Under-19 team this season.

Moukoko deserves his place in the first team

Youssoufa Moukoko should get his chance in Borussia Dortmund’s first team, said the boss of the youth team Lars Ricken. Moukoko turns 16 next Friday but has already been lighting it up for the Under-19 team this season. In just three games for the U19s, he scored ten goals and laid on another one. Indeed, he has played at least a hat-trick in all three games he has played this season and has captained the team on every occasion. Ricken says the young striker deserves his chance to play in the Bundesliga. “I hope he can fulfil his dream because he deserves it,” he told reporters. “He’s a great and very sociable guy who has worked hard to get to where he is.” Ricken understands Moukoko’s feelings well, being something of a BVB prodigy himself.

Youssoufa can cope with the stresses of professional football

Although he went on to score a goal in the 1997 Champions League final in which Dortmund beat Juventus 3-1, it feels like he failed to reach his potential despite 14 years at the club. Nevertheless, he does not hold fears about throwing Moukoko in early. “There is no youth player who has had as many minutes of play and practice as in recent years,” he said. “This is an indicator that he can cope with the stresses of professional football”. Meanwhile, Nuri Sahin, who is currently the club’s youngest player in history, doesn’t believe fielding the forward would be wise. “You are not doing a young player a favour by dropping him too early,” he said.

“I am sure that there is no better club for young players. Moreover, I know the people involved, but can he cope with it if he runs up to the goalkeeper alone four times in front of 80,000 fans and still does not score?” Dortmund will play with Hertha Berlin in their next Bundesliga match. Lucien Favre’s side is currently third in the standings, three points behind leaders Bayern Munich, having suffered a 3-2 defeat to the Champions League winners when they met on their previous outing.