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Bayern Munich’s Niko Kovac explains Fiete Arp exclusion

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Fiete Arp has been linked to a loan away from Bayern Munich, which made his absence from the game-day roster seem very peculiar.

FC Rottach-Egern v FC Bayern Muenchen Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

It came as a surprise to most that Fiete Arp was not included in the squad for Bayern Munich’s tilt against Energie Cottbus in the first round of the DFB-Pokal. Arp, who displayed some excellent form in the preseason, was excluded from the game-day roster in favor of Bayern II striker Kwasi Okyere “Otschi” Wriedt.

According to Sport1, Arp was shocked by the decision and left the stadium after the game without speaking to the media. Fans should not be too alarming, however: Arp appeared to be in good spirits on the sideline at halftime per Sport1 and have simply wanted to avoid talking about the rumors regarding a potential loan arrangement after the game:

According to Sport1’s information, the decision surprised him. He left the stadium after the final whistle quickly and silently.

Sport1’s Florian Plenttenberg tweeted a video of Arp and 19-year-old goalkeeper Christian Früchtl juggling at the stadium and noted that the duo also posed for photos with fans:

Bayern coach Niko Kovac spoke after the game and explained why he went with Wriedt in place of Arp:

He [Arp] didn’t do anything wrong, but in Otschi [Wriedt] we have a player on the bench who has now already scored four goals in the third league, and he was with us at our training camp this week. We’re at FC Bayern Munich, and it’s a fact that the competition for every player, no matter how young or how old he is, is very high. You have to accept that. That is why Otschi was the one who came out ahead. That was the decision, pure and simple.

In addition, the rumors that Arp may go out on loan seem to be stagnant. Arp has expressed his desire to stay in Munich, which might be causing internal debate in Bayern’s front office as to what is the best developmental path for the talented 19-year-old. Sport1 writes,

Arp played a good preseason. According to Sport1’s plans, a loan is still not planned, because the striker would like to win his place with the German Rekordmeister.


BFW Analysis

Arp’s case is certainly one to ponder for Bayern Munich. Is he a player that can contribute this season across the front line, or would he benefit more from a transfer to an advantageous destination where he could receive consistent playing time as a full-time starter?

In the preseason, Arp showed a solid understanding of the wing position, along with an ability to play striker, his natural and preferred position. In several interviews released this summer, Arp showed a positive attitude that has impressed teammates.

Perhaps Arp might be best served by a loan to RB Leipzig should Bayern Munich eventually pull the trigger on a deal for Timo Werner. That scenario, however, would require a few more of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge’s famed dominos to fall into place.

On the flip side, Arp might also be best-suited to be surrounded by world-class players consistently at Säbener Strasse, where his skills, mentality, and work ethic will be tested on a daily basis.

Whatever happens, Arp has shown flashes of his potential this summer. That alone should put to rest some of the doubts about his viability at an upper-echelon club like Bayern Munich.