Bayern Munich loanee Malik Tillman held an interview with kicker recently, in which he talked about numerous topics. He also had a few things to say about Bayern Munich and his future. Malik Tillman did, after all, leave Bayern Munich after starting to make his way into the first team, collecting some valuable first team minutes here or there, though most of his game time came in the Regionalliga with Bayern II.
Understandably, Tillman wanted consistent game time at a higher level. “I decided I wanted to play on the highest level possible while playing as much as possible. It’s gone pretty well for me so far.”
Though Tillman confirms he did talk to head coach Julian Nagelsmann a bit before he left. “We had a brief conversation and said our goodbyes. He also told me how I could improve.”
Which is...? “The conversation was mainly about mentality. I was told to learn a thing or two about mentality from the example of Joshua Kimmich. That I need to give 100% on the field and ask for the ball more, because my ability on the ball is one of my strengths. And my defensive work as a forward could also be a bit better.”
Tillman finishes this segment with a smile. Of course, every Bayern fan knows how obsessively Kimmich works and how intense his mentality is, so that Kimmich was the first example of an exemplary hard worker is not a surprise. But it is good to see that Tillman knows his weaknesses, has memorized Nagelsmann’s words and is actively looking to improve on those weaknesses.
That is something Tillman knows Bayern is paying attention to, as he confirms when asked about if he hopes Bayern are keeping an eye on. “I know [Bayern is keeping an eye on me]. [Assistant coaches] Dino [Toppmöller] and Xaver [Zembrod] write to me from time to time, [Technical director] Marco [Neppe] too. It helps to confirm that they do pay attention.”
The interviewer brings up the imperfect communication between another Bayern loanee Alexander Nübel, currently at AS Monaco, and Bayern and asks if Nagelsmann has communicated with Tillman much. His answer is very mature. “No, but I don’t think that is his job.”
And finally, Malik Tillman is asked about his future. After all, there is a reported 5 million buy option for Rangers in the loan contract, though Bayern have a buy back clause themselves. But only Tillman has the final say on what he does over the summer. “I just want to play. I don’t really care where that is. I do feel well here [at Rangers] and I think Rangers likes my performances. But I can imagine that perhaps Bayern does, too. Therefore...we’ll see.”
Whatever he decides to do, Malik Tillman is enjoying a phenomenal season and is certainly fulfilling his obvious potential. Keep it up.