Between working his way through the youth teams and making his first team debut in 2018, Niklas Dorsch spent a total of six years at Bayern Munich. Since he left the club in the summer of 2018, Dorsch has had spells at Heidenheim and KAA Gent, and he’s joined FC Augsburg this summer. He’ll now get the chance to square up against Bayern again after getting the chance to do so for Heidenheim in the DFB-Pokal two seasons ago and he’s always coming off of a summer where he individually performed well for Germany’s U-21s in the UEFA Euro U-21 Championships.
In a recent interview with kicker (via Az), Dorsch reflected on his six years at Bayern, and revealed that Thiago Alcantara was always one of his biggest role models there. In the 2017/2018 season under Jupp Heynckes, Dorsch got his first Bundesliga appearance in the senior squad and even marked the occasion with a goal. At the time, Bayern had already clinched the Bundesliga title and a place in the DFB-Pokal final against Eintracht Frankfurt. While it was a personal highlight for him to get his first Bundesliga appearance and score, before that, he admitted, it was tough to be around the superstars and get acclimated. “That really helped my development. At the beginning it is of course not easy as a young player. You look around the dressing room and see the big stars left and right. It took a while, but the guys take you on well,” he explained.
Back in the summer of 2018, when he had moved to Heidenheim, Dorsch had felt that he never got a fair shout at Bayern and that he deserved more opportunities. “I simply didn’t get a fair chance. No one paid much attention to young players. When you play a time and score a goal right away, then there’s a lot of talk again. Before that, nobody was interested in what I was doing,” he had said in an interview back then.
The lack of first team opportunities overall was part of the reason why he decided to leave for Heidenheim.
While he was at Bayern, Thiago was always someone that Dorsch looked up to as a role model. As a central midfielder himself, Dorsch said, “In terms of football, also in relation to my position, Thiago has always been a player that I looked up to, that I also wanted to learn from. This is absolutely world class, of course you want to go there.” He continued by describing all of Thiago’s unique traits.
“This elegance, how he handles the ball, in which rooms he moves. Without looking, he knows what is happening behind him,” Dorsch said. “These are skills that do not exist very often in the world.”