The German-American talent, Timothy Tillman, emerged as a hot prospect in 2015, signing with Bayern Munich from SpVgg Greuther Fürth for a £450,000 fee. Despite Bayern’s capture of the young winger’s signature, Barcelona continued to circle.
According to a report from Bild, the Catalans attempted to sign Tillman in January of 2017, but Uli Hoeness personally vetoed the move. Tillman continued his development at Bayern Munich, putting in a solid campaign in 2017/18 for Bayern II in the Regionaliga, contributing six goals and seven assists.
This strong campaign helped the 19-year old earn a loan move to newly promoted Bundesliga-side 1. FC Nürnberg, where he will look to test himself in the top-tier of German football. Despite the lower stature of 1. FC Nürnberg in comparison to Barcelona or Bayern Munich, Tillman feels it is the perfect move for him:
The move to Nuremberg is not a step back for me. I am happy to be here. We will see what this leads to. I think a year is quite a long time for a 19-year-old, so I am in good spirits here.
Tillman will also have the opportunity to work with a familiar face. 1. FC Nürnberg manager, Michael Köllner, worked with Tillman at SpVgg Greuther Fürth and helped him develop into the player Bayern Munich and Barcelona pursued, Tillman said, “I can develop well here with Michael Köllner, who already coached me in Fürth. The Bundesliga is a new experience, but I hope that I can slip into the team well.”
In terms of Tillman’s development, 1. FC Nürnberg provides the perfect stage. Breaking into the first team at Barcelona or Bayern Munich would be no easy task, but Tillman can get abundant playing time in Nürnberg. The fact that the loan agreement for the winger includes an option to buy also indicates his breakthrough will not come at the Allianz Arena.
With Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery serving as the Mr. Miyagi to the Karate kids Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman, not to mention the Ramdeuter Thomas Müller exploiting space on the right, the wings remain a crowded place for Bayern youngsters. The professional contract of Oliver Bautista Meier and transfer rumors linking the likes of Ante Rebic and Anthony Martial also would have complicated Tillman’s prospects for first team action at the Allianz.
How do you think Tillman’s development will progress at 1. FC Nürnberg? Will Bayern regret letting him go if the option to buy is exercised?