Whatever happened to former Bayern Munich prospect Oliver Batista Meier? It’s an extremely pertinent question, as he was heralded one of the very best young talents in Germany five years ago, yet now he is warming the bench in the 3. Liga. How could it have possibly come to this?
Let’s start in the 2019/20 season. Most Bayern fans remember that season for the treble the senior team won, but Bayern II managed to win the 3. Liga title that season, the first reserve side to do that in the history of German football. That achievement continues to be understated to this day. It was also a fine season for Batista Meier, who was a crucial part of that record breaking side, and it all culminated in his debut for the senior team, coming off the bench for 12 minutes.
It was the glory before the fall, though. The club and Batista Meier were convinced he was too good for the 3. Liga and he was loaned out to SC Herenveen in the Eredivisie for the 2020/21 season, a massive step up for the youngster. And a step too soon and too far. The German-Brazilian failed to catch fire, though, only playing in 15 matches and scoring a solitary goal.
After that disappointing loan spell and Bayern II’s relegation to the Regionalliga, Batista Meier sought out either another loan move or a permanent move away instead of playing in the fourth tier of German football, but there were simply no takers. Batista Meier therefore stayed half a season at Bayern II in the 2021/22 season, becoming the club’s second highest scorer in that time and the most trusted forward in Martin Demichelis’ team.
In January, though, Dynamo Dresden came in to sign him permanently, only for the youngster to only contribute a single assist and no goals in the second half of the season as Dresden got relegated. And now, Oliver Batista Meier is stuck on the bench.
But a couple of poor career moves is only half of the reason Batista Meier is currently struggling. Physically he just isn’t a top athlete and it has cost him. Fittingly, having been born from a Brazilian mother, Batista Meier has always been technically superb but he has always been nothing more than a serviceable athlete. The hope was that he would develop physically as he aged into his 20s. After suffering a massive ankle injury in 2018 that kept him out for six months, though, his physical level declined horribly and has never really recovered since. Batista Meier has remained superb technically but in today’s game, where athleticism has become more and more important, his lacking physical ability is really holding him back.
That’s not to say Batista Meier can’t turn things around. He is just 21 years old and, in 10 years, this could all have been a small setback in a fantastic career if he realizes his obvious talent. But to get there, he will have to start turning things around.