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Bayern Munich’s Paul Wanner, Arijon Ibrahimović, Lovro Zvonarek, Mathys Tel on The Guardian’s Next Generation 2022 list of 60 best young talents

Bayern Munich’s young players gain recognition.

MLS: USA Tour-Bayern Munich at DC United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Bayern Munich youngsters Paul Wanner, Arijon Ibrahimović, Lovro Zvonarek, and Mathys Tel made the The Guardian’s “Next Generation 2022 list of 60 best young talents.”

Below are the synopses for each player:

Lovro Zvonarek, Midfielder

“He has a deep understanding of many things,” Slaven Belupo manager Zoran Zekic says of his former protege Lovro Zvonarek, adding that working with such a talent has been the highlight of his tenure at the club. “His thinking is incredibly quick. He moves very well without the ball, but always knows what to do with the ball too.” Zvonarek is the second-youngest debutant ever in the Croatian league and the youngest scorer in the league’s history. Late last season he also captained the team, before even turning 17. By then it was clear he was leaving – Bayern had picked him up in the summer of 2021 but left him on loan at Slaven for the season. A very intelligent, well-rounded and hard working central/attacking midfielder, he is with Bayern’s second team for the time being. — Aleksandar Holiga

Paul Wanner, Attacking Midfielder

There was huge excitement at the Allianz Arena in January when Wanner became the youngest player in Bayern history, just 15 days after his 16th birthday. The champions might have lost to their bogey team Borussia Mönchengladbach but fans preferred to focus on the immensely promising playmaker who had showed phenomenal qualities for the club’s youth teams. Left footed, blessed with an outstanding technique, close control and vision, he is capable of executing through balls that few players can even think of. He had been considered a potential star since joining the academy in 2018, but his progress surprised even the most optimistic coaches, and he has now signed a contract until 2027. After making four substitute appearances in the Bundesliga last season, Wanner is expected to feature more frequently this term, his versatility a bonus: he has even been tried at left-wing in training. Tall and physically fairly strong for a player of such a gentle touch, he could be a possible long-term successor to Thomas Müller. — Michael Yokhin

Arijon Ibrahimović, Midfielder

A player is bound to attract a lot of attention when his name is Ibrahimovic, even though there is no relation to Zlatan whatsoever. However, Arijon, born in Bavaria to parents of Kosovar origins, is a remarkable talent in his own right. The midfielder was promoted to the Under-17 team at the age of 14, and joined the Under-19 team when he was 15. By 2021, the “new Ibrahimovic” was already training with Bayern’s first team and made a positive impression on coach Julian Nagelsmann with his dribbling skills and stamina. Originally an attacking player who mentioned Zlatan and Cristiano Ronaldo as his role models and scored at will at every youth level, Arijon has also been playing in central midfield as he is a good tackler and can carry the ball at speed. He has been likened in style to Leon Goretzka by some and it will be interesting to see where he is deployed in the coming years. — Michael Yokhin

Mathys Tel, Striker

“He’s 17, but he has qualities that not many in the world have,” said Bayern’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic when Tel joined for €28.5m in July. “He has the potential to be great. He’s the best talent in Europe at this position.” Having started his career at Ligue 2 side Paris FC, the player from Sarcelles – the same origin as Riyad Mahrez – has enjoyed an even faster rise than the Manchester City forward. Tel surpassed Eduardo Camavinga as Rennes’ youngest-ever player last season and has already set new records for Bayern, with his debut Bundesliga goal against Stuttgart coming a few days after he had broken his duck in the DFB-Pokal 10 days earlier. — Ed Aarons

Other Bundesliga players named to the list include:

  • Bayer Leverkusen’s Zidan Sertdemir (Midfielder)
  • Hoffenheim’s Tom Bischof (Attacking Midfielder)
  • Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Rijkhoff (Striker)
  • Bayer Leverkusen’s Iker Bravo (Striker)
  • Bayer Leverkusen’s Jardell Kanga (Midfielder/Striker)

In addition, former Bayern Munich campus prospect Kenan Yildiz (Juventus, Midfielder) made the list.

For a breakdown on all of the honorees, check out The Guardian.

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