Stuttgart centre back Antonio Rudiger, who came of age in the 2012-13 season, has swiftly progressed from youth-level player all the way through to Bundesliga prospect and international class athlete, as his recent appearances for Germany are testament to.
Stuttgart may be powerless to keep the player at the Mercedes Benz Arena, though, which will no doubt prompt fervent speculation that the 21-year-old could be on the cusp of a move in the upcoming transfer window.
“Antonio is under contract until June 2017 with our club," said manager Armin Veh to Sport-BILD. "The thing is, how much longer can we keep hold of such a player?
“He is willing to learn, has power and self-confidence and the willpower he needs to succeed.
“I understand that big clubs are chasing him. But a move will only be considered for Antonio if he joins a really big outfit. Otherwise, it would be better for him to stay at our club.”
A number of big clubs within England are reportedly monitoring Rudiger's situation, including Manchester United and Chelsea.
Should either United or Chelsea have been scouting Rudiger, they would presumably be intrigued by the prolificacy of the player's defensive contributions thus far this season as he has been responsible for clearing the football once every 12 minutes on average.