Just three seasons ago, Bayern Munich went into panic mode at the thought of losing prized youngster Paul Wanner, who became a hot commodity.
When there were rumors that Wanner might want to move on, the club rallied to convince him to stay and eventually gave him a long-term deal that runs through 2027.
However, nothing has went to plan from those days when it was feared he might bolt.
Unable to get established under Julian Nagelsmann and moved around to a number of different positions, Wanner scuffled to assert himself as a first-team player. Last season, Wanner missed 15 games and a whopping 112 days of action due to injuries and illness per Transfermarkt in a campaign that saw Nagelsmann axed for Tuchel.
For a young player, having so much managerial upheaval (Wanner rose to fame while Hansi Flick was at the club) has seemingly disrupted his progress. That does not even include one of Wanner’s biggest backers, former sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić, getting sacked, either.
Now, Wanner is trying to assert himself at Tuchel’s training camp...and might be having some issues.
Over the weekend, kicker’s George Holzner captured this from Tuchel:
️ Thomas #Tuchel mit lautstarken Kommentaren während der ersten Einheit.— Georg Holzner (@georg_holzner) July 15, 2023
Zu Paul #Wanner: „Paul du schläfst, das ist der dritte Ball, den du verlierst. Paul, wach auf jetzt.“#fcbayern pic.twitter.com/NEWjgHtzi3
️ Thomas #Tuchel with loud comments during the first session.
To Paul #Wanner: “Paul you are sleeping, this is the third ball you lost. Paul, wake up now.”
While this will not be the last time Tuchel barks at Wanner or any other player, it does show the 17-year-old will not be coddled or given too much leeway for growing pains. Interestingly, though, Wanner did make out better than fellow prospects Arijon Ibrahimović and Gabriel Vidović, who were left home.
At his precocious young age, it is far too early to write off Wanner, but his lack of development since inking that long-term contract is concerning. Injuries and illnesses can derail any young player’s developmental pathway (just ask Fiete Arp), but Wanner was “the one” that Bayern Munich was expecting to be able to breakthrough to its first team at some point relatively soon.
Now, though, it looks like it just might take a little longer to happen. The constant bopping around to different positions and having three head coaches in three seasons certainly has not helped the youngster, who could start to feel like the club truly does not have a plan for him.
Due to what would be considered a lack of opportunity, Wanner is expected to go away on a loan assignment this summer.
Regardless, the whole situation closely resembles how another young prospect, Torben Rhein, was considered the “jewel” of the Bayern Munich campus rose to quick fame and then slid into a downward spiral that has resulted in two consecutive years of loans.
A future at Bayern Munich is extremely doubtful these days for Rhein...will Wanner be able to buck that trend and reverse course to re-establish himself?