Fresh faces at Carlo Ancelotti’s first sessions
Players from the second team
Fabian Benko (born 1998)
This name should sound familiar to some Bayern experts. Fabian Benko already has had his training sessions with the first team last season and had a convincing debut during last year’s summer tour in China. He was promoted directly to Bayern’s second team after playing for the under 17 team in 2015. Unfortunately he had some problems adapting which caused difficulties in his first season. From March on he suffered from a muscle injury, which forced him to miss all of the preparation games of the second team.
Bernard Mwarome (born 1997)
Although he is registered as a central defender on the FC Bayern homepage Mwarome solely played as a central defensive midfielder throughout his career. But sadly playing in general is a real issue for him. After two cruciate ruptures he missed two complete seasons in which he could not play for a single official match. In this year’s preparation period he seems to be back in an unusual position as a right-back or right-centre-back in a three at back formation.
Players from Bayern’s U19 team
Meritan Shabani (born 1999)
After a strong preparation last season for Bayern’s under 17 squad Shabani was promoted to the under 19 team early. He started quite good, but struggled just like the whole team progressing through the season. After finishing the season he was chosen to help his former teammates winning the championship. But due to an unenthusiastic attitude the coach didn’t count on him at the beginning in the deciding match vs. VfB Stuttgart. In his top form he is an excellent attacking midfielder who has some strengths in finishing as well.
Matthias Stingl (born 1998)
The captain of the Bavarian under 19 squad is the first option in the right-back position. Due to his strong physic he played as a winger until his coach at the time, Holger Seitz, decided to move him back in order to boost his strengths. This move might be beneficial for his future career as well.
Marco Friedl (born 1998)
Just as Fabian Benko the young Austrian was part of the preparation the first team held in Doha during the winter break. Although he usually performs as a left-back, his qualities were desperately needed in Bayern’s under 19 team that suffered from various injuries so that the coach was forced to play him in the centre midfield position. Just like his fellow countryman David Alaba the left-back position is where he shines the most. He already played four times for the second team as well. It is quite likely that he will join the second team this season again at least for a few matches.
Mario Crnicki (born 1998)
Mario Crnicki missed the whole first half of the season because of a knee surgery. After the injuries of Karl-Heinz Lappe and Dominik Martnovic he was Heiko Vogels first choice as a striker in Bayern’s second team for several week. In six games he managed to score once just like he did in nine games for his actual team, the under 19 squad, where he started just two times.
Felix Götze (born 1998)
Felix Götze, Mario Götze’s younger brother, is he short-term replacement for Adrian Fein. Like his brother he joined Bayern Munich’s youth squad from Borussia Dortmund but could not obtain a starting position in the first half of the season. Due to several injuries all youth teams had to deal with (as you might have noticed) the offensive midfielder was even tested as a centre-back. Surprisingly he played convincingly in the winter preparation and managed to maintain a spot in the starting XI. After playing just five times for a few minutes in the first half of the season he started 12 games in the second half.
The question is who of those young players has the best arguments to take the step and be an option for the first team in the future? But the prediction in this case is quite difficult. Luck is a big factor, because especially at Bayern Munich young players have to be at the right time in the right place. The most talented player in all of Bayern’s youth teams is definitely missing in Ancelotti’s current sessions, which is probably intended in order to keep him away from the spotlight for now.