Fiete Arp’s transfer from Hamburger SV led many to think that Bayern Munich was finally adding a forward who could both back up Robert Lewandowski and develop into a striker of the future.
After some serious bad luck, Arp’s future is now apparently in question per Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac. Arp suffered through a very serious gastrointestinal illness and now has a scaphoid fracture, which has offset the great progress he made this summer.
In a report from Abendzeitung, Kovac addressed Arp’s status and — intentional or not — seemed to imply a future in Bavaria is no sure thing:
Even when he was introduced, I said he needed time. The competition here is much bigger. It’s hard to play here. We want to make it better every day. But we don’t want to put too much pressure on him either. You have to be patient, the boy is still so young. He will develop well — here or elsewhere.
The final part of that quote is where Kovac might unintentionally be putting more pressure on Arp. By even mentioning “elsewhere” at this point, Kovac seems to imply that a future with Bayern Munich is no sure thing, which is likely not reassuring for the 19-year-old.
Abendzeitung also implied that there might be some internal push at the club to promote Kwasi Wriedt or Joshua Zirkzee ahead of Arp, which begs the question: “Why even acquire Arp in the first place?” At 25, Wriedt might be a little “old” to be considered a long-term successor to Lewandowski, but Zirkzee is just 18 and has shown promise.
It was just a few months ago where both Real Madrid defender Marcelo and Kovac both doled out praise on the youngster. Per Marcelo:
He’s a good player and still has a great career ahead of him. I like fearless, cheeky players like him.
After the Audi Cup, Kovac said of Arp:
He is certainly a player who is unrivaled in his class. He should get the chance to get minutes up here, but he should also play in the 2nd team.
One thing is certain, Arp needs to get back to the training ground if he wants to ensure his development is with Bayern Munich rather than “elsewhere.”