Moukoko to integrate with Dortmund squad 'immediately' to facilitate debut at 16
Youssoufa Moukoko is "immediately" included in the Borussia Dortmund squad to ensure that he is used to playing against adults up to the age of 16, Sports Director Michael Zorc confirmed.
Even though Moukoko is only 15 years old, he has already caused a lot of excitement about his potential after performing several impressive achievements in youth football.
As a 14-year-old last October, he became the youngest scorer in the UEFA Youth League, beating the previous record by more than 12 months.
In March, he set another record in the U19 Bundesliga before the coronavirus disrupted football of all abilities when the teenager increased his season record to 34 goals in 20 games with a double in the 3-0 win against Rot-Weiss Oberhausen.
Until the regulations were changed this year, Moukoko would probably have had to wait until the age of 17 before he could qualify for the senior team. However, the German Football League (DFL) changed the statutes to allow players to acquire a "game license" at the age of 16.
Moukoko appears to be destined to benefit from this change early on, and Zorc suggested that he be added to the senior team soon to ensure that he's used to men's football when he turns 16 in November.
"We are very interested in involving the boys from our own youth teams with us upwards [in the senior team]," Zorc told reporters on Thursday.
"We want to play at the top in the Bundesliga and also in the Champions League. That means it's a big leap from the U19 to the Bundesliga, but that will always be our focus, that's what Borussia Dortmund stands for."
"But that does not preclude us from attracting young players from all over the world. I would even prefer these players to start in our youth system because it strengthens their identity with the club."
"The coach [Lucien Favre] and I spoke about Moukoko this week and decided that he should be immediately included in the squad so that he can learn how to play and train against adults and professionals.
"With the rule change, we can use him in the Bundesliga when he turns 16."
Provided that Moukoko makes his debut in the first team shortly after his qualification and will obliterate Nuri Sahin's record as the youngest player in the Bundesliga.
The Turkish international, who now plays for Werder Bremen, was 16 years, 11 months and one day old when he played for Dortmund for the first time in 2005. He received a special regulation that was to be introduced earlier than the legal provisions permitted.
Another young player who is successful in Dortmund is Erling Haaland, who has amazed Salzburg after a sensational first half of the season and has taken the Bundesliga by storm.
However, Zorc still sees a lot of growth potential for the 19-year-old Norwegian international.
"The goal [16 in 17 games in all competitions] was not expected," he added. "It is a step upwards to switch from the Austrian Bundesliga to the German Bundesliga. He is still very young.
"Everything you saw was not so sustainable, even if he already scored in the Champions League. He still has to get used to games every Wednesday and Saturday."
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