Mainz outside-back Jonathan Meier is hoping to establish himself as a first-team player with Die Nullfünfer, which was the primary driver for why he decided to move on from Bayern Munich.
The lack of opportunity for youth players to progress at Bayern Munich seemed to be an over-arching theme in Meier’s decision to transfer out of Bavaria. In an interview with SportBild, Meier explained in detail his rationale for leaving the Bayern, despite being a native of Munich:
I trained constantly with the pros, but played with Bayern II. I want to gain experience in Mainz and, of course, also play in the Bundesliga. This is a club where many young players get their chance, for whom the developmental potential is very good. That’s the next step toward the professional arena for me. In Mainz things are a bit simpler than in Munich, where it’s relatively difficult to integrate into the professional squad for the long term. As people have seen, hardly anyone has managed to do it in the past few years.
Meier’s issue with the inability of Bayern youth players to make the jump to the first-team has been one of the ongoing discussion topics among fans of the club. In addition, both David Alaba and Lucas Hernandez are considered excellent left-backs and even if Hernandez spends most of his time at center-back, the flexibility the former Atlético Madrid star offers just created one more obstacle in Meier’s way toward a first-team position.
Regardless, Meier will not have an easy time breaking into the Mainz 05 starting lineup either. With 22-year-old Spaniard Aaron Martin ahead of Meier on the depth chart, the 19-year-old is ready to battle for playing time.
I want to learn a lot from him — and it’s certainly good for him to get a little pressure from competition!
Meier spent six years with 1860 Munich before moving to Bayern Munich for another six-year stint. Mainz secured Meier on a €1.2 million transfer that became official on July 1st.