Created on 30-07-2009 at 00:00 AM
When Allianz Arena announcer Stephan Lehmann introduced the sub replacing Mario Gomez after 80 minutes of the meeting with Milan, most of the 61,000 crowd and the millions of TV viewers will have asked: Saer who? Almost certainly, only the most die-hard of Bayern loyalists had ever heard of Saer Sene before Wednesday evening.
Within nine minutes, Sene more than made a name for himself. Accepting a lay-off from Thomas Müller, the youngster netted Bayern's third in the 4-1 AUDI Cup victory over AC Milan, and also had a major hand in Müller's last-minute strike to round off the scoring. After his goal, a beaming Saer raced over to the Bayern dugout for high fives with his team-mates and coach Louis van Gaal. Here was a young man in the grip of serious, utterly positive emotion.
Following in dad's footsteps
The Frenchman joined the Bayern reserves this summer from fifth division SG Sonnenhof-Großaspach. FCB's junior team officials opted to sign the 1.90 metre forward after he impressed in a trial. "He has potential," commented junior team boss Werner Kern.
Van Gaal soon agreed, and added Saer to his squad for the friendlies in Salzburg and Waging, where he scored twice. He subsequently trained with the seniors a couple of times, but only appeared as a substitute in the reserves' third division opener away to Ingolstadt. He came on as a sub again in Tuesday evening's derby at home to Unterhaching, promptly earning his side a draw with a last-minute equaliser. Just 24 hours later, he was to revel in the highlight of his career to date with a goal against Italian giants AC.
Saer, whose father made almost 200 appearances for French Ligue 1 outfit Paris St. Germain in the 1990s, is all but certain to pop up in the first-team squad from time to time – potentially as soon as Sunday's cup visit to Neckarelz. Van Gaal is currently unable to call on a trio of strikers, as Luca Toni, Ivica Olic and Miroslav Klose are all sidelined. That explains the 22-year-old's presence in the AUDI Cup squad. "Our young players will get their chance," as Van Gaal has repeatedly said.