The ballad of Fiete Arp’s career with Bayern Munich has not exactly been one that legends are made of thus far.
Once heralded as a potential successor to both Robert Lewandowski and Miroslav Klose, Arp has missed 100 days due to illness and injury since arriving in Munich from Hamburger SV. With the extended absences, the player’s future has become murky at best. Fair or unfair, the #ArpTrain was derailed.
Where does that leave the 20-year-old forward now? Per kicker, Arp is set for a “conscious step back” and will play the entire season with Bayern Munich II in an effort to get his career back on track. The story from kicker states that Arp made this decision “some time ago.”
Arp played as a wide forward/right-wing for 66 minutes in Bayern Munich II’s season opener against Türkgücü Munich and set up Adrian Fein’s goal in the 23rd minute. Arp’s initial cross-attempt deflected off of a Türkgücü Munich defender and ricocheted directly to Fein who deposited the ball into the back of the net.
Overall, Arp was solid, but not spectacular, in the season opener, but will absolutely have to produce if he wants to break into Bayern Munich’s first-team roster. At the moment, even Joshua Zirkzee also seems to be ahead of him in the club’s pecking order. Arp was not officially credited with an assist against Türkgücü Munich despite his role in setting up the first goal, but tracked back effectively, caused some issues with his pressing, made some creative runs, and had some solid moments overall, while also picking up a yellow card. In the 39th minute, the youngster got his head on the end of a corner-attempt at the near post, but sent the shot over the crossbar.
Arp also did well in linking up with Fein, who is another player who is likely in a make or break year for his career with the Bavarians. In the 48th minute, he worked a combination with Jamal Musiala and his end-run should have resulted in a pass-back from Musiala for an advantageous shot attempt, but Musiala held on to the ball too long and could not complete the final pass.
At times, Arp floated to the left-side of the pitch and also centrally, mimicking the interchanging of positions that we often see with Hansi Flick’s group of first-team players. The aptitude and talent are clearly there, but can those attributes shine through enough this season to salvage a career with Bayern Munich? Without production, Arp’s natural ability and reportedly strong work ethic will not matter.
It may sound odd, but as discussed on the latest edition of Bavarian Podcast Works, this is a make or break season for Arp with Bayern Munich. The youngster needs to not only prove he can stay healthy, but also that he still has the talent that first caught the eye of the Bavarians in the first place.
The bottom line for Arp will be — like any other scorer — production. If Arp can effectively create goals and assists for others, while finding the back of the net often, he could potentially work his way back into Flick’s good graces. If not, Bayern Munich might have to eat much of Arp’s contract just to move him along.
The game is available on YouTube for anyone else who may want to assess Arp or other players on the Bayern Munich II squad.