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Home-grown hopefuls

Nerlinger: Best youngsters will get a chance

“Toni Kroos will come back to us next season, and will be a valuable player for this football club,” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge announced a few days ago at the Bayern AGM. The 19-year-old, out on loan at Bayer Leverkusen until the end of the season and currently hitting the headlines for his scintillating form, is currently the best example of what Christian Nerlinger describes as “the model for the future at Bayern.”

“Why shouldn’t we give a major talent like Toni Kroos the chance to develop as a player at a different club, so he’s in a position to help us straight away when he returns to Bayern?” the FCB director of sport said on Bavarian TV’s Blickpunkt Sport on Monday evening. “I believe it’s a very interesting way of helping our youngsters come on.”

Philipp Lahm as role model

It is the path followed by Philipp Lahm a few years ago. He was loaned from the FCB reserves to VfB Stuttgart – but came back a full international. “Players who feel they have no chance of making the first team drop off in training and stop developing properly,” Nerlinger explained.

Only a very few Bayern youth products have ever managed regular status at the first time of asking. Bastian Schweinsteiger is one, with Holger Badstuber and Thomas Müller the most recent example, the pair benefiting from the current boss’s long-established preferences. “Louis van Gaal puts his faith in talent,” commented Nerlinger, “Under him, Badstuber and Müller have made unbelievable progress.”