We have been here so often with Bayern Munich and young talent. The Bavarians are one of the top clubs for scouring Europe for top young talent to bring to the club, They are not just a club who pay mega money for ready made superstars like Robert Lewandowski or Sadio Mané (although they do that too), but hot prospects are also brought in at a young age to learn the Bayern way.
The latest to arrive at the Allianz Arena is 17-year-old French striker Mathys Tel signed from Rennes for €28.5 million after just seven appearances and no goals for the first team. Bayern had however seen enough of him at French U-17 and U-18 level to believe he was worth the substantial fee and five-year-contract.
In the absence of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting through injury, Tel has already had his opportunities in the Bundesliga squad and in midweek made a record-breaking full debut for the Rekordmeister in the DFB Pokal win over Viktoria Köln. In the 5-0 victory Tel became the club’s youngest-ever goal scorer at just 17 years and 126 days old. Jamal Musiala (17 years, 205 days) was the previous record.
The fact that his impressive debut came in the same week that Joshua Zirkzee left the club for Bologna and Adrian Fein moved to Excelsior brings into focus the fact that making it in the Bayern squad is no walk in the park- especially for young players. Talent and potential are not always enough. Down the years names such as Fiete Arp, Lars Lukas Mai, and Sinan Kurt have been spoken of as players with top potential, only to lose their way and disappear.
In the post-Robert Lewandowski era, there should be more opportunities in Bayern’s frontline, although Tel still has to contend with Thomas Müller, Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman, Leroy Sané, Sadio Mané, Jamal Musiala and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. Nagelsmann is prepared to give youth a chance and the old adage that ‘if you’re good enough, you’re old enough’ does ring true at Bayern.
Tel has made an impressive start to life at Bayern Munich. Time will tell if in five years’ time we’re still talking about him in the same vein.