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Julian Green is a Bad Summer Away from Leaving Bayern Munich Forever

Unless the 20-year-old finds a way to secure playing time, he will fall into the category of mediocre Bayern academy players.

Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Because Bayern Munich has the international magnitude and recent track-record of homegrown success, several academy products and young players developing with the Rekordmeister often have overblown potential. Mehmet Ekici was the next Mesut Özil, Emre Can the next Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mitchell Weiser the next Lukas Podolski.

Luckily for Bayern, some of those players live up to the early hype outsiders thrust upon them, and can even out-climb the heights many thought they could reach. However, just as many players turn out to disappoint, causing fervent promoters to question what others saw in these "disappointments" in the first place.

Julian Green's narrative had the most Disney pop-star of them all, using a rambunctious goal record in Germany's fourth tier and a volley past one of the best goalkeepers in the world to soar to the top of Sport sections everywhere. Microphones, audio recorders, and cameras followed him wherever he went when Bayern ventured to the United States last summer, journalists trying to get his voice on the record in case his career were to explode.

As bright as the spotlight was, the bulb eventually broke when Green entered the darkness that was Josef Zinnbauer's Hamburger SV. Usually humble in front of the media, he voiced the repressed frustration in an interview with the Guardian, lambasting Hamburg's decision to send him down to the reserve team. While out of the ordinary, the words he spoke certainly had a fallen Disney star character to it, brining to mind Patrick Stewart's narration at the beginning of the movie "Ted".

"Well, let me put it this way. No matter how big a splash you make in this world, whether you're a Corey Feldman, Frankie Muniz, Justin Bieber, or a talking Teddy Bear, eventually nobody gives a $#*%."

This preseason, Green has received just 70 minutes of action in three matches from Pep Guardiola thus far, less than teenage wingers Sinan Kurt and Fabian Benko. He has yet to do anything noteworthy with those minutes either, a cautionary sign for a player who wants to remain with Bayern.

Turning 20 in early June, Green is not a player one can write off just yet. Several footballers have bloomed a tad later than the "normal" footballer and had long footballing careers. Bayern however are not just looking for good footballers, they are looking for the best ones, and that can inevitably cause their patience to run thin.

The worrying part about Green's young career is his inability to secure first-team minutes. While part of that may be due to extenuating circumstances, Green's development is nonetheless behind several successful homegrown players, as well as a few unsuccessful ones.

While perhaps an arbitrary statistic due to the relativity of its significance, first-team minutes is an important indicator to how likely a player is going to have a prolonged career, especially at a club like Bayern. The 1000 minute mark is a significant milestone, for it only comes about when a manager commits to a player enough to give him minutes on a regular basis. Green's career total is at 113 minutes, and for someone of his age, he could certainly be in bad company when it comes to Bayern's homegrown players.

Player who Signed Pro Contract Age of 1000th Minute Club during 1000th Minute Total Bayern Appearances
Gianluca Gaudino N/A (375 minutes) N/A 11*
David Alaba 18 years, 240 days Hoffenheim (Loan) 172*
Toni Kroos 18 years, 322 days Bayern Munich 205
Bastian Schweinsteiger 19 years, 43 days Bayern Munich 500
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg 19 years, 180 days Augsburg (Loan) 24*
Emre Can 19 years, 322 days Bayer Leverkusen (Transfer) 7
Diego Contento 20 years, 0 days Bayern Munich 69
Philipp Lahm 20 years, 18 days VfB Stuttgart (Loan) 434*
Julian Green N/A (113 minutes) N/A 1*
Thomas Müller 20 years, 55 days Bayern Munich 304*
Christian Lell 20 years, 187 days 1. FC Köln (Loan) 98
Owen Hargreaves 20 years, 189 days Bayern Munich 218
Holger Badstuber 20 years, 225 days Bayern Munich 165*
Mats Hummels 20 years, 237 days Borussia Dortmund (Loan) 2
Mehmet Ekici 20 years, 240 days 1. FC Nürnberg (Loan) 0
Alessandro Schöpf 20 years, 267 days 1. FC Nürnberg (Transfer) 0
Sandro Wagner 20 years, 345 days MSV Duisburg (Transfer) 8
Michael Rensing 21 years, 7 days Bayern Munich 83
Patrick Weihrauch N/A (0 minutes) N/A 0
Andreas Ottl 21 years, 154 days Bayern Munich 141
Piotr Trochowski 21 years, 215 days Hamburger SV (Transfer) 40
Markus Feulner 22 years, 53 days 1. FC Köln (Transfer) 21
Stephan Fürstner 22 years, 127 days SpVgg Greuther Fürth (Transfer) 1
Thomas Kraft 22 years, 216 days Bayern Munich 19
Stephan Kling 22 years, 266 days Hamburger SV (Transfer) 0
Jan Schlösser 25 years, 163 days FC Ismaning (Transfer) 0

*Active Statistic

Green would need to play every minute in 10 matches in order to eclipse that 1000 minute milestone during the 2015/16 season. Those matches are not going to come with Bayern, especially after the signing of Douglas Costa and, to a lesser extent, Arturo Vidal. Even if Green became classified as a back-up striker, Mario Gómez and Claudio Pizarro can attest to how difficult of a scenario it is to be in that position.

With several players burying him in Bayern's squad, Green needs to have a spectacular August in order to keep his Bayern dreams alive. He has voiced several times his desire to stay in Munich, but Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge may not oblige him.

"I do not think he will stay directly here at Bayern," Rummenigge told TZ last week.

After that miserable loan spell, the best case scenario may be similar to what Bayern did with Austria youth player Alessandro Schöpf; Bayern sold the Austria U21 player to Nurnberg for €200,000 and retained a €1 million buyback clause. Such a transfer would allow Green to secure minutes on his own, and possibly allow him to fulfill his dream of playing first-team football with the club that raised him since age 14. Bayern may not be inclined to repeat such a deal though with replacements already in the youth ranks.

Green has a handful of weeks to establish himself before transfer contingencies come about, for his summer is not off to a very good start. Fact is, he is a bad summer away from leaving Bayern forever.

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