Mario Gotze has been labelled as one of the big German stars of the future and Borussia Dortmund have quickly taken steps to avoid losing their prized asset by handing him a new contract.
Mezut Ozil, Sami Khedira and Thomas Muller are among the German stars to have made big waves in the past year and Gotze has the potential to follow in their footsteps.
The 18-year-old made his Bundesliga debut 11 months ago, but has played more of a prominent role in the Dortmund first team at the start of the present campaign.
Gotze has started four of their seven league games and came off the bench in two of the others to help Dortmund sit second in the Bundesliga table, three points behind Mainz, who still have a 100 per cent winning record.
This has resulted in Dortmund being trimmed to 2/1 to win the Bundesliga, with Gotze’s new contract keeping him at the club for a further two years until 2014.
However, he perhaps made his biggest impression in the Europa League when he scored twice to help Dortmund win 4-3 away at Karpaty Lviv.
Dortmund currently sit third in Group J in the Europa League after two of the six games and are 5/2 to end up qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition by topping the group.
Meanwhile, they are 20/1 to win the Europa League.
Gotze is fairly adaptable and can be utilised in an attacking role either through the middle or out wide, with his biggest strengths being his comfort with both feet and his eye for a defence-splitting pass.
The biggest problem facing Dortmund is keeping the young playmaker fit, as already in his short career representing Germany at youth level he has shown a susceptibility to injury.
Mainz are 11/2 to win the Bundesliga, with Bayern Munich the 6/4 favourites. See the whole Bundesliga winners betting odds market.