FC Bayern Munich fans may remember the effort the club put in to renew Paul Wanner, commonly heralded as one of the two brightest talents of the academy, in January this year. Wanner appeared to be headed to the exit door, with just around half a year left on his contract and previous contract discussions falling flat. Then, however, the club allowed him to play in a few first team matches and had him join first team training. Along with renewed talks and sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić stepping in to help things along, Paul Wanner finally renewed his contract and stayed at Bayern.
Not even a year later, it might be time again for such strategies with the other brightest talent in the academy. Arijon Ibrahimovic, no relation to the other Ibrahimovic, has a contract that runs only until 2023. And, again, previous contract discussions have fallen flat. Apparently, he does not believe he has a chance of breaking into the Bayern squad and wants to move to get more play for a first team. Given how many star attackers are currently part of Bayern’s roster- the likes of Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala, Thomas Müller, Kingsley Coman and more- one can hardly blame the youngster for worrying.
It seems that this frustration has triggered the alarm bells at Bayern. Arijon Ibrahimovic made his Bayern II debut over the past weekend, coming off the bench to play 29 minutes in Bayern II’s topsy turvy 5-2 victory over Hankofen-Hailing. Incredibly, he immediately lit up the match, grabbing two assists and managing to make a tight game look a lot more comfortable than it really was. In the process, he became Bayern’s second youngest debutant behind Stefano Celozzi. And today, FC Bayern released pictures of training, with Ibrahimovic taking part.
Being promoted early? Training with the pros? Yeah, we can be 99% sure Bayern is using the exact same strategy used to win over Wanner. Who knows what promises Bayern made Ibrahimovic for the future, though. Bayern cannot make a habit of doing this for youth player, but it’s absolutely worth it in this case. The young Ibra is easily one of the most talented U-18 german players in the world and it is vital that Bayern does not lose him for free.
Now extend Eyüp Aydin’s contract while you’re at it, all right?