Youssoufa Moukoko has thanked Lukasz Piszczek, Emre Can and Julian Brandt for helping to ease his transition into the Borussia Dortmund senior squad.
The 15-year-old forward, who boasts an incredible record of 183 goals in 120 games for Dortmund’s youth team, is working with Lucien Favre’s first-team group as they prepare for the 2020-21 Bundesliga season.
Regulations in Germany’s top flight mean Moukoko will not be able to make his competitive debut until he turns 16 on November 20, but he will be getting up to speed during the intervening period.
“Lukasz Piszczek helped me a lot, but Emre Can and Julian Brandt also support me,” he told Bild.
On 35-year-old full-back Piszczek, Moukoko added: “He pulled me straight to the side and said, ‘Just have fun, be yourself and don’t be afraid with us professionals’.”
In the meantime, Moukoko still has ambitions in the youth categories.
“I will use the time until November in the under-19s,” he said. “I still want to break the 200-goal mark.”
The rookie and the vet pic.twitter.com/YvieziCrmi
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) August 19, 2020
Giovanni Reyna, 17, was a breakthrough teenage star for Dortmund last season.
The son of former USA international Claudio Reyna, the youngster has paid tribute to the role of his late brother Jack in his formative years as a footballer.
Jack died of cancer aged 13 when Giovanni was nine.
“It was Jack who got me excited about football,” he told SportBild.
“People always think that I became a footballer because my dad, Claudio, was already a professional.
“But it was my late brother who sparked my passion for football. Without Jack I wouldn’t be at BVB today.”
Reyna made 15 appearance in the Bundesliga last term and he hailed the guidance given to him by Dortmund’s England star Jadon Sancho.
“He tells me that I should be confident and trust my strengths,” he explained. “He encourages me when things don’t go that way.
“He didn’t doubt himself after making mistakes, but just kept going. Jadon’s not so good for nothing.”
Reyna added: “Jadon’s first steps when he starts dribbling are unbelievable – wow! I try to learn from him in every training session, because his development here at BVB is an incentive for me.”
Sancho has been heavily linked with a big-money move to Manchester United, even though sporting director Michael Zorc insists the 20-year-old will now remain at Signal Iduna Park for the forthcoming campaign.