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Proving the scouts wrong: How Bayern Munich’s Niklas Süle made his mark despite doubts

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Bayern Munich’s Niklas Süle had doubters that he could make it big as a U-14 player.

1. Bundesliga FC Schalke 04 - 1899 Hoffenheim Photo by Team 2 Sportphoto/ullstein bild via Getty Images

When looking at professional footballer, most people assume these were the gifted player who were never challenegd on their path to stardom.

For Bayern Munich center-back Niklas Süle, however, not everyone was sold on the big man as he was a rising player in the youth ranks at Eintracht Frankfurt.

In a report from Sport Bild, Süle’s pathway to being a professional was not always a direct route:

Bayern star Niklas Süle almost ended up with today’s fourth division club FC Carl Zeiss Jena in 2009. At that time, Süle played in the U14 of Eintracht Frankfurt. Even then edgy, strong in duels.

Those traits, however, were not enough to alleviate doubt from some scouts.

Soccer - Bundesliga - TSV 1899 Hoffenheim vs. FC Bayern Munich
Even someone like Niklas Süle had scouts doubting him along the way as a youth player.
Photo by sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

“A good central defender,” says Miroslav Jovic (50), a scout for FC Carl Zeiss Jena. Contacts were made quickly and a trial training session agreed upon. He wanted to leave Frankfurt, we invited him.”

In most scenarios involving future star players, this trial would result in a good showing and a move to help catapult a young player into better spot.

That would not be the case for Süle, however:

But Süle didn’t completely convince the coaches. The move forward, the speed, the technical finesse — all these were pluses that spoke in favor of Süle. Only his passing game and general outlook left the third division Jena dissatisfied.

FC Carl Zeiss Jena ultimately passed on Süle, who eventually signed with Hoffenheim and made his Bundesliga debut for Hoffenheim at 17-year-old on May 11, 2013.