If true, the news regarding Bayern Munich taking a pass on RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner certainly has an impact on future roster decisions for the Bavarians. Instead of Werner slotting in as the eventual replacement for Robert Lewandowski, the focus now shifts to a couple of talented youngsters in Fiete Arp and Joshua Zirkzee.
According to Bild, Arp is using the pandemic-induced hiatus to make his mark as a potential successor to the Polish Hitman, while Zirkzee looks “looks hapless and unmotivated” during training. The report is based off an account of Bayern Munich’s training session from yesterday where Arp recorded eight goals during a training exercise, while Zirkzee was shutout — which was partly why his effort was criticized.
Regardless, the pathway forward for both players puts them in direct competition for the back-up role to the 31-year-old Lewandowski. After a litany of ailments hindered his progress during the Hinrunde, perhaps Arp is finally ready to make his mark in Bavaria.
Arp has missed 86 days so far this season battling a severe illness, a scaphoid injury, and an arm injury, while Zirkzee slid into Arp’s place as the back-up striker and contributed three goals and one assist in 9 games across all competitions for the Bavarians.
Any story with this connotation, can be taken with a grain of salt, but Bayern Munich is certainly lucky to count both Arp and Zirkzee among its ranks —regardless of any bouts with motivation. Arp had a fantastic summer with Bayern Munich before he became the “Job of Bavaria”, while Zirkzee showed flashes of brilliance while with the senior team before COVID-19 snipered the season.
If Werner is, indeed, not in Bayern Munich’s plans, the career path for both Arp and Zirkzee has become a lot more clear — and competitive. While neither is at the level of Werner at this stage of their respective careers, both have the talent to become Lewandowski’s apprentice.
For his part, Arp has shown a bit more versatility with his ability to shift out wide to a wing position, but Zirkzee’s height makes him a match-up nightmare within the box. If both players continue their progress — while avoiding injuries and motivational lapses — Bayern Munich’s future behind Lewandowski could be bright even without Werner.