In the wee hours of Monday morning, Arturo Vidal posted a selfie of himself and what may be assumed to be his agent, on a flight from Chile, with a caption that implied that he was on his way to the beautiful Bavarian capital city of Munich. Always eager to catch an exclusive photo, TZ sent reporters to the airport to wait for the Chilean to arrive.
The Bayern driver was indeed at the airport (no doubt in a slick Audi sedan), but, to the reporters' surprise, it wasn't Vidal that was being picked up. A young, blond man with a sports bag was greeted by the driver, and chauffeured off. Who was this mystery man? What position does he play, and where will he fit in on the star-studded Bayern roster?
Well, the secret is out. Markus Hörwick, Bayern's media director, confirmed to the paper that the player was Thomas Poppler Ischerwood, a 17-year old Swedish central defender, who currently plays for the youth of IF Brommapojkarna, a team who just got relegated from the top Swedish football division, the Allsvenskan. He is also a member of the Swedish U-17 national team, and impressed during recent U-17 European Championship qualifying.
Not surprisingly, then, this talent is not slated for the senior side, but is here to reinforce the Bayern reserve squad, who are getting ready for their first game of the new season against FV Illertissen this Wednesday (July 29th). The reserves used four different defenders in preseason – academy products Philipp Walter and Giuseppe Leo, as well as Matthias Strohmaier and recent arrival Korbinian Burger.
If you're wondering what happened with Arturo Vidal, well, he arrived in the afternoon, on a connecting flight from Madrid, but gave everyone the slip. The reporters had to be content with snapping pictures of an unknown 17-year old instead.