19-year-old Timothy Tillman is still waiting to receive his Bundesliga debut since moving to FC Nürnberg on loan during the summer transfer period. The midfielder from Bayern Munich’s reserve team joined the newly promoted Bundesliga side in an attempt to gain some valuable experience in the top flight, but he has yet to see any minutes.
Tillman made the squad for Nürnberg’s first two league matches this season, against Hertha Berlin and Mainz, but he was an unused sub on both occasions. Otherwise, Tillman has made only three appearances for Nürnberg’s reserve team in the Regionalliga, all of which were draws: against Schweinfurt 05, Greuther Furth II, and VfR Garching. It’s also worth mentioning that he was on the bench for Nürnberg’s DFB-Pokal win over SV Link back in August, but that was just another occasion where he was an unused substitute.
It is safe to say that Tillman’s experience with Nürnberg thus far is not what he envisioned when he made the loan move. He had initially entertained the idea of going on loan to FC Dallas in the MLS after Bayern had announced their developmental partnership, but ultimately chose to stay in Germany. Bayern’s reserve coach, Holger Seitz had (at the time) been reluctant to let Tillman go (Münchner Merkur via FuPa.net), but revealed that the talks between all parties involved made the move to Nürnberg seem like the best option for his development:
We didn’t have to talk for long about it; he is a class player. I was involved in the talks with Hasan Salihamidzic and Timothy and the arguments are convincing in the interest of the player and the club.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but Seitz and other members of Bayern’s coaching staff and front office must be wondering how well Tillman would be faring right now had he chosen to stay with the reserves. For one, he’d be playing far more regularly instead of spending the majority of his time on the bench. However, there’s still a long season ahead and Nürnberg’s fight to stay in the top flight is likely to take many twists and turns, forcing manager Michael Köllner to utilize different personnel, including Tillman.