Don’t you miss those halcyon days of the summer transfer window — when the worry was that Bayern Munich were stockpiling too much depth to keep everyone happy? In a flash, Bavaria has become home to Injury-Covid FC, a few more knocks away from a veritable selection nightmare.
Tomorrow’s Champions League tilt against FC Viktoria, then, is a perfect time to see who among the squad players can step up and possibly get ready to step in for the biggest games remaining in this hectic Hinrunde.
Most intriguing among them? Teen starlet Mathys Tel, the splashy transfer from Rennes FC who at seventeen has already made numerous appearances — and scored multiple goals — for the German Rekordmeister. And manager Julian Nagelsmann has touted him for an appearance, if not a start.
“Mathys Tel is a candidate for the starting XI,” Nagelsmann said in his pre-game press conference (via @iMiaSanMia). “He’s a young, talented player. He does a lot of things very well. He also has a few things that he needs to change. We have players with certain standing and experience. Mathys has to develop and he is doing that.”
Tempering burgeoning expectations with a little measured critique — it’s a patient approach adopted by the Bavarians, who are hoping to recapture the model that so successfully brought Jamal Musiala to the highest levels of the game.
As for who those players with “certain standing and experience” might be? Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has been Bayern’s trusted striker veteran for several seasons now, and the 33-year-old Cameroonian international is the club’s lone box striker. And Nagelsmann is keenly aware of that discussion, as shown in his fuller comments (updated below):
️ Julian Nagelsmann on Mathys Tel and the Choupo-Moting discussion pic.twitter.com/X1CkJ336eK— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) October 11, 2022
With Bayern’s tactics in flux — and their striker transfer / striker-less future up in the air — it could still be a battle for Tel to push his way to the very front of the line, at the very center of the attack.