Over the years, many of the Czech Republic’s finest players have featured in the German Bundesliga. Tomáš Rosický spent five years with Borussia Dortmund, having left Sparta Prague when he was 20. Jiří Němec spent nine years with Dortmund’s rivals Schalke 04, having also featured for Sparta. All-time top scorer Jan Koller spent five years with Dortmund, spending an additional half-season with FC Nurnberg.
The Bundesliga does not lack representation now either: six Czech players are currently in the league. Bayer Leverkusen has attacking duo Patrik Schick and Adam Hložek, Hoffenheim has
Pavel Kadeřábek, Alex Král is at Němec’s former club Schalke, and goalkeepers Tomáš Koubek and Jiří Pavlenka play for Augsburg and Werder Bremen respectively.
That number could soon change, however. Wolfsburg talent Lukáš Ambros is enjoying a fine season in the U19 Bundesliga, and recently made several appearances in friendlies for Wolfsburg. Now, Ambros is approaching his Bundesliga debut.
CAM Lukáš Ambros, Wolfsburg, 18
Ambros is from Dolní Němčí, a Czech town close to the Slovakian border. He joined the academy of FK Dolní Němčí (a sixth-tier side) before moving to 1. FC Slovacko’s academy (in the Czech first-tier) in 2015. Two years later, he upgraded again, joining the academy of SK Slavia Prague — one of the most successful teams in the Czech Republic.
In 2020, when he turned 16, Ambros left his homeland, moving to Germany with VfL Wolfsburg. In an interview (translated, but you can find the original version here), Ambros discussed how he has settled in at Wolfsburg — the Czech talent already spoke some German, as the Czech Republic borders Germany to the west.
At the end of last year, Ambros was named captain of the Wolfsburg U19 team, scoring once and assisting five strikes. He maintained his captaincy for the side this season and continued his blistering form. In his first four games, he scored two goals and assisted two, and has six goal contributions thus far this season. As a result, Wolfsburg is fourth in the A-Junioren Bundesliga.
Ambros has yet to make his debut in the Bundesliga — although if he makes his debut in the next three months, he’ll be the youngest Czech player in the league’s history. He has twice been an unused substitute this season, against Augsburg and Hertha Berlin.
During the winter break, Ambros made several appearances for the senior team in friendlies. He started against Augsburg, Brentford, and Hoffenheim, scoring against Augsburg and assisting the opener against Brentford.
Ambros is a playmaking attacking midfielder. He’s a strong dribbler and passer, moving the ball up the field well and creating scoring chances. His ball control is excellent, and he’s able to use his strength to hold off defenders. Ambros has good vision, knowing where to place passes, and can get into good positions to receive the ball. Shooting isn’t his biggest strength, but his finishing is good as he can accurately place the ball past the goalkeeper.
Ambros is approaching his Bundesliga debut, but his contract expires in 2023. While he could seek immediate playing time with a Bundesliga 2 club or a return to the Czech Republic, it makes more sense for him to stay with Wolfsburg. The club’s head coach, Niko Kovac, is known to give young players chances to shine in the first team. Ambros could well be next.
Image Courtesy of Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
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