Who is Paris Brunner?
Paris Brunner seems predestined for great things. The Borussia Dortmund winger has had his disciplinary problems at club level in 2023 — at one stage, he was suspended by the club — but whenever he is on the pitch, you can expect something to happen.
That was abundantly clear at the Under-17 Euros and Under-17 World Cup in 2023, where UEFA and FIFA’s panels adjudged him as the best player at both tournaments.
Not only was Brunner classed as the best player at both tournaments, he was able to lead Germany to wins in both competitions, with penalty shootout victories over France deciding both finals.
It now seems a matter of if, not when, he will receive his opportunity to exhibit these talents at a senior professional level.
Paris Brunner's style of play
Brunner is an enigma. He will be standing out on the left flank, and for large periods seem completely non-threatening. But the Borussia Dortmund winger can spring into life in an instant, delivering moments of brilliance at key stages.
And while can play as a low touch, high-impact finisher that drives centrally into the half-space, he can also function as a high touch outlet player that facilitates play from out wide. He can mix and match his game at different moments, manipulating the best aspects of his skillset to use at the right moment. Whether he needs to play with a slower, technical focus, or whether he needs to up the tempo and make the most of his athletic qualities, he can do it all.
Then, at Under-17 level, he can use his athletic prowess to play bully-ball against smaller, slower players that can go nowhere near matching him physically over 90 minutes. He can beat them in the air, muscle them off the ball, or shield his own possession with ease.
But he isn’t simply reliant on being an athletic outlier. He is a wide forward that brings good dribbling ability, excellent penalty box instincts and a strong off-ball presence to his game as well. At his best, he is a devastating goal-scorer with good ball striking from the the flank, and he is very difficult to stop when he is able to isolate and stare down the opposition right-back.
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Paris Brunner is an athletic outlier, but he also has a fantastic technical subtlety to his game and brings a major goal threat from the left wing.
Paris Brunner does have a tendency to drift out of games and look disinterested at times. Some well-reported disciplinary issues at club level are also concerning.