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Bayern Munich have been monitoring Mainz youth player Brajan Gruda since 2019

Way ahead of the competition?

1. FSV Mainz 05 v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by Ralf Ibing - firo sportphoto/Getty Images

When Bayern Munich beat Mainz 3-1 not too long ago, Thomas Müller swapped shirts with a player named Brajan Gruda at the end of the match. Why is Tommy’s moment with an opposition player after a game this important? It’s because Bayern has been monitoring Gruda for the past four years:

Bayern have been keeping an eye and scouting Mainz talent Brajan Gruda (19) since he was 15 years old. However, with Paul Wanner and Arijon Ibrahimović, the club already has two big talents in the position who, although younger than Gruda, are rated at least as highly. In addition, with Sané, Coman, Tel and Gnabry already in the squad, Bayern’s idea is that if Wanner and Ibrahimović couldn’t get game time and had to go out on loan, it makes little sense to bring another young talent in the position. Gruda needs regular game time to develop, which he’s now getting at Mainz.

– Sport Bild’s Tobi Altschäffl as captured by Twitter account @iMiaSanMia

It would’ve been nice to bring in another talented youngster, but Bayern has players out on loan and in the starting XI and would be a tight squeeze in terms of squad space. Gruda would probably be better off staying put.

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