Admittedly, it has been a few years since I was driving the #ArpTrain (off a cliff?), but it is finally time for me to own this and admit that I was dead wrong on Jann-Fiete Arp’s signing with Bayern Munich.
It was doomed from the beginning
Arp was a hot commodity and building a strong reputation for himself at Hamburger SV and within the German youth system. He was not a hulking figure, but did have the requisite height, skill, and speed that made him a sensational transfer target for a club like Bayern Munich, who was looking to lock an eventual successor to Robert Lewandowski.
Arp’s acquisition was pretty unprecedented for Bayern Munich as they were going to pay him A LOT of money (rumored to be €5 million). There was also some back-and-forth between Arp and Hamburger SV after the rumors initially surfaced, which led to him falling out of favor before the transfer was formally announced.
It was clear that Arp was moving on, but whatever transpired between the player, his camp, and the club left Hamburger SV bitter.
One ailment after another
Upon arriving at Bayern Munich, there was an immense amount of hope. Arp’s physical toolset led to him getting some playing at time as a winger and at striker during the preseason where he famously toasted Marcelo in one match and scored against Tottenham Hotspur in another.
The future looked extremely bright...until it didn’t.
Arp later would admit that moving to Bayern Munich was probably too much, too soon for him. While not explicitly stating it, it seemed as if Arp allowed being sent to Bayern Munich II to affect his mentality. Worse, stories from that period indicated that Arp’s attitude could have been a big factor in the move.
Things actually got worse from there. Injuries and illnesses checkered Arp’s entire tenure at Bayern Munich until it was clear that a separation was needed for the player and club alike — first in the form of a loan and then subsequently with a sale.
Arp had moved on to Holstein Kiel.
The #ArpTrain is still not on track
Now entrenched as part of the squad at Holstein Kiel, Arp is completely off the radar of the national team and is having a less-than-middling career at best. Arp has no goals and two assists in 15 games across all competitions this season.
Since October 16th in 2. Bundesliga, Arp has played in five games (he was left out of the squad and did not dress in another game), but tallied just 65 minutes.
This is now how it was supposed to be.
I sometimes wonder how things might have played out differently for Arp if he had maintained a more positive attitude at Bayern Munich, the club would have kept him on the first team, and if he could have avoided those aforementioned injuries and illnesses.
There are a whole lot of ifs there, but you get the point. Arp should have been better and things should have been different, but it just didn’t work out.
What a redemption story it would be if Arp could rediscover that magic that made him such a prized prospect at the time — and yeah, I’d throw the ol’ engineer outfit for one last (hopefully long) ride.
It probably won’t happen, but even if it does, my bad take here will go down in BFW lore as it should.