The 16-year-old attacking midfielder has already appeared for Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga and is a national youth star.
There is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel for Germany’s national team, which is struggling to reclaim its lost stature after two consecutive failures in major tournaments.
Mesut Ozil and Mario Gotze were important players for Joachim Low’s team in 2014, when they won the FIFA World Cup, playing as several varieties of No. 10s.
But while Ozil has since fallen out of favour, and Gotze’s career has been hampered by injuries, there is a new generation of German No.10s coming through who have the potential to become the stars of the future.
One such player is Hoffenheim’s Tom Bischof, who made his Bundesliga debut in December 2019 at the age of 16.
A versatile attacking midfielder, Tom Bischof has been compared to both Ozil and Gotze, and is a star at schoolboy level for Die Mannschaft.
While Thomas Muller is still at the club, the wonderful dribbling of Ozil and the diminutive creative spark given by Gotze have vanished from the German national team.
However, the most recent Under-17 European Championship revealed a few fresh faces who may fill those gaps for the next ten years.
Germany has a player who, like Ozil, can generate individual magic in Paul Wanner, the youngest player to ever play for Bayern Munich. The 16-year-old’s towering, thin build is comparable to that of the former Arsenal star.
During the tournament in Israel, Mueller played with Tom Bischof, who set a new record at Hoffenheim when he made his Bundesliga debut at the age of 17 years and 104 days in March.
What is Tom Bischof’s football record?
Tom Bischof‘s football record is quite impressive. He played college football at the University of Notre Dame and was drafted by the New York Jets in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. Tom Bischof went on to play eight seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Jets. He finished his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tom Bischof was a two-time Pro Bowl selection and was named to the All-Pro team in his final season. He finished his career with 8,844 yards and 83 touchdowns. Bischof is considered one of the best tight ends in NFL history and his football record speaks for itself.
He may not be quite at the same level as Wanner yet, but Tom Bischof’s outstanding performances in Israel mean he is very much one to watch for the future.
The 16-year-old was Hoffenheim’s top scorer at the tournament with four goals, including a stunning volley in the semi-final victory over Russia, and he also provided two assists.
Tom Bischof is a versatile attacking player who can operate anywhere behind the striker, and his versatility was one of the key reasons why he was so highly rated by Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann.
Nagelsmann is known for his ability to develop young talent, and he has already helped Bischof to make the step up from Hoffenheim’s Under-19 side to the first team.
The 16-year-old made his Bundesliga debut against Werder Bremen in March, becoming the youngest player in Hoffenheim’s history, and he has already been linked with a move to Bayern Munich.
Status of Bischof right now
Tom Bischof first came to prominence when he was part of the Germany team that won the Under-17 European Championship in 2018, scoring three goals and providing four assists in the tournament.
He has since been promoted to the Under-19 side, and is tipped for a bright future in the game.
Nagelsmann is known to be a big admirer of Tom Bischof, and is desperate for Bayern Munich to sign him.
The Hoffenheim coach has even compared Bischof to Barcelona star Lionel Messi, and said he is the best young player he has ever seen.
“He’s a bit like Messi,” Nagelsmann told Sport1.
“He’s left-footed, small, quick, agile, good at dribbling.
He’s got everything you need to be a world-class player.”
Tom Bischof is still only 16, and is unlikely to make a big impact at Bayern Munich immediately if he does move there.
But with Nagelsmann’s backing, and the promise of more first-team opportunities at Hoffenheim, Bischof looks like he has all the ingredients to become Germany’s next great No. 10.
Nagelsmann is desperate for Bischof to stay at Hoffenheim, however, and he has compared the youngster to Germany’s World Cup-winning hero Mario Gotze.
“He’s a great talent who still has a lot of improving to do,” Nagelsmann told kicker.
“But he has shown that he can play at this level.
He’s quick, he has good technique and he’s a goalscorer.
“I see some parallels with Mario Gotze.
He’s not as big as Gotze yet and he doesn’t have the same kind of international experience, but I think he has the potential to become a very good player.”
Tom Bischof still has some way to go before he can be mentioned in the same breath as Gotze, but Nagelsmann is confident that he has what it takes to become a star.
The 16-year-old still has two years left on his Hoffenheim contract, and with Nagelsmann adamant that he will not be sold, Bischof looks set to play a key role in the club’s future.
For now, Bischof is focused on helping Hoffenheim to qualify for the Champions League, but he is already being tipped for a bright future at the highest level.
Playing as No. 10
Playing as a No. 10, Tom is someone who speeds up the game, especially through his passing.
Paul Wanner is the more advanced player, with exceptional ball control and dribbling. He adds a lot of energy to the game when he has the ball at his feet.
“However, Tom provides dynamism through his through-balls or the ability to dictate play in the last third, which is what sets him apart from other forwards.”
The playmaker from the No. 10 role is insufficient in today’s game, which has largely abandoned the position in favor of wide forwards, either in a 4-3-3 or 3-4-3 formation, providing most of the creativity.
despite his youth, Bischof has a lot more to offer. He can score goals as well as create them, scoring eight times for the Hoffenheim U19s in 2021-22, while also playing deeper as a box-to-box, No. 8-style midfielder.
It is that versatility, as well as his skill on the ball and vision, which has seen him compared to Germany legend Mario Gotze, who himself was something of a wonderkid when he broke through at Borussia Dortmund.
Indeed, Bischof’s former coach at 1860 Munich youth academy Florian Schwabl said: “He’s got everything a top player needs. He’s got great vision, he’s two-footed, he’s quick, he’s good in the air.
“The only thing missing is that bit of experience and consistency, but that will come with time.”
Nagelsmann is not the only one interested in Bischof, with Dortmund and RB Leipzig also thought to be keen, but it is Bayern who are in the driving seat due to their close relationship with Hoffenheim.
The German champions have a longstanding agreement with Hoffenheim that allows them to sign any player for a fee of just €5 million, and they are said to be ready to trigger that clause for Bischof.
Tom Bischof may not be the finished article just yet, but he has all the makings of a top player. His versatility, athleticism and technical ability make him an attractive proposition for any team, but it is his potential that really marks him out as a special talent.
Nagelsmann is a known admirer of Bischof and it is easy to see why. The Bayern Munich youngster has all the attributes that the German coach looks for in his players. He is intelligent, hardworking and has the potential to become a top-class player.
Bischof still has some way to go before he can be considered as one of the best players in the world, but he has all the qualities that are required to reach the very top. With Nagelsmann’s guidance, there is no doubt that Bischof has the potential to become a truly great player.