Jann-Fiete Arp’s loyalty to his boyhood club Hamburger SV may have cost him more than he anticipated. After declining to transfer immediately to Bayern Munich rather than leave Hamburg, Arp has found himself on the margins of Hamburg’s battle for promotion back to the 1st Bundesliga.
Arp’s former coach and mentor Christian Titz lost his job early in the season. Since Titz was ousted in late October 2018, Arp’s playing time has evaporated. Titz’s successor, Hannes Wolf, has played Arp only as a late substitute since November. Thus Arp has played a meager 382 minutes total this season in the 2. Bundesliga, as Hamburg has relied on proven senior talent at striker (particularly Pierre-Michel Lasogga). Arp does not have a goal to his name in the Bundesliga this season, having scored a solitary goal in the DFB-Pokal and three in the Regionalliga Nord.
Wolf had said that Arp “simply has to train better” to receive more playing time. Could Arp thus decide to make the move to Bavaria sooner rather than later? Arp’s unusual contract agreement between Hamburg and Bayern gives him the freedom to choose whether to transfer to Bayern in the coming summer (2019) or a year later (2020).
In the meantime, Arp will join Germany’s U19 team during the coming international break. U19 coach Guido Streichsbier commented, “Fiete is a mature, intelligent player, who thinks about himself as a person and about his club. That is not normal for his age and definitely positive.”
Streichsbier feels that Arp has received few opportunities with HSV because the club is hell-bent on returning to the top flight. He commented,
The pressure that the club wants to win promotion is enormous. That’s why the coach cannot risk too many experiments. I hope that Fiete plays a good Euro qualifications and takes this momentum back with him to Hamburg. He has the tools to help HSV in their promotion battle.
Arps Situation beim HSV schätzt Streichsbier so ein: „Der Druck, dass der Verein aufsteigt, ist enorm. Deshalb kann der Trainer auch nicht zu viele Experimente wagen. Ich wünsche mir, dass Fiete eine gute EM-Quali spielt und diesen Schwung mit nach Hamburg nimmt. Er hat das Zeug, dem HSV im Aufstiegskampf zu helfen.“
Arp will have to think carefully about his future plans: a role as backup striker at Hamburg next season, ideally back in the top flight, or behind Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich — the same club that allowed Sandro Wagner to leave for the Chinese Super League over the winter transfer window.