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Grant-Leon Ranos: Bayern’s star youth striker on the cusp of slipping away

Ranos has every chance of making it in professional football — but it likely won’t be in Munich.

Bayern München U19 v VfB Stuttgart U19 - DFB Juniors Cup Semi Final Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images

Grant-Leon Ranos is a curious case.

Currently, the winger-turned-striker is tearing apart the Regionalliga Bayern with Bayern Munich’s reserve side Bayern II, with 19 goals and 8 assists in 28 games. In fact, Ranos has 15 goal contributions in his last 982 minutes, which is an average of a goal contribution every 65 minutes.

Ranos even recently got called up for the first time to the Armenian national team — yet another potential representative deciding to forego Germany for another country — and scored two goals in a 2-2 draw on his debut! All of whih is to demonstrate that the 19-year-old is the outstanding player, possibly even the best talent of the current Bayern II team. Which begs the question: why is he about to leave Munich? We’ll get there.

Ranos arrived in Munich from Borussia Dortmund’s youth academy in 2017, after Bayern had recently opened up the club’s expensive new campus and recruited a lot of new players as a result of the added space. The then-14 year old would require some time to find his feet in Munich, slowly progressing through the ranks. In fact, while he was highly rated, he would consistently struggle to demonstrate this outstanding talent due to injuries and inconsistency. Just two years ago, Ranos was struggling to regularly make the U-17 Bayern side.

So the fact that Ranos has developed into the current version of himself is utterly remarkable. He has exploded in the last two years, and his skillset has suitably developed. Having played as a winger throughout most of his young career (his move to striker is actually quite recent), Ranos excels at dribbling, crossing and finding space at the edge of the box. But it is likely that his predatory instincts prompted Bayern’s coaches to move him inside. He is really good at finding space in the box, making intelligent runs that most wingers can never develop. He’s also surprisingly good in the air and is always aware of any goal scoring opportunity. Arguably the most important quality of a striker is how well they carve out goal scoring chances from nothing and Ranos is phenomenal at this.

So why is he leaving Bayern? His contract runs out in 2023 and he is too good for the Regionalliga. It is as simple as that. Former Bayern head coach Julian Nagelsmann called up Ranos during various international breaks, but Ranos has never gotten close to consistently becoming a part of the senior team. And it is startlingly obvious that Ranos is far too good for the Regionalliga, considering he has 27 goals/assists in 28 games this season.

Since he clearly cannot grow anymore in Munich, it is time for him to go. That is the natural development for many youngsters in Munich who understandably cannot imagine a role as a starter in the first team. It is unfortunate for the club but it is difficult to do anything about this. Ranos can likely expect numerous offers from the 2. Bundesliga and Bundesliga in the summer, when he turns 20. Will Grant-Leon Ranos be the one that slipped away for Bayern? Time will tell.

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