Fiete Arp (c.) is looking to get back on track during a loan spell from Bayern Munich in Bundesliga 2 at Holstein Kiel. - © IMAGO / Hübner
Fiete Arp (c.) is looking to get back on track during a loan spell from Bayern Munich in Bundesliga 2 at Holstein Kiel. - © IMAGO / Hübner
2. Bundesliga

Fiete Arp getting back on track at Holstein Kiel on loan from Bayern Munich

Fiete Arp is up and running for Holstein Kiel in Bundesliga 2, suggesting the on-loan Bayern Munich striker is ready to get the Arp Train back on track after his initial bolt from the station appeared to be slowing.

At just 21, it's ludicrous to suggest Arp's career is at risk of being derailed, but it does need its course resetting.

As so many young players find out, living up to such high expectations as the next big thing and a footballing wonderkid is no mean feat. And it's not as if Arp placed those expectations on himself, but it is difficult not to get swept up in everything. This, after all, was a 17-year-old that became the first player born this millennium to both play and score in a Bundesliga match.

Arp was also a teenager that won the prestigious U17 Fritz Walter gold medal, claimed Hamburg's Young Player of the Season honours in 2017/18 and became the first player to score two hat-tricks in a single UEFA European Under-17 Championship as he captained Germany to the semi-finals of the tournament.

Watch: The best of Arp with HSV and Kiel

He was described as Germany's answer to England star Harry Kane, touted as the country's most exciting striker since Die Mannschaft record goal scorer Miroslav Klose and by the time he had turned 19, the noise only grew louder as Arp joined record German champions - and Klose's former club - Bayern.

It was already a remarkable journey and, suddenly, Arp was expected to immediately deliver on his promise at the highest level - even with just 38 first-team appearances and four goals to his name, of which only 18 games and two goals came in Germany's top flight.

Arp - who took the decision himself to move to Bayern ahead of the 2019/20 campaign instead of a year later - now had the chance to learn from one of the modern greats of the game, too, in the shape of Robert Lewandowski.

And, while the inevitable hype machine went into overdrive, the legendary Pole was a voice of reason.

“He needs a bit more experience,” he said in August 2019, one month after Arp joined the club.

Arp (l.) has been able to watch and learn from the great Lewandowski (r.), but has had to bide his time in the reserves so far at Bayern. - via www.imago-images.de/imago images / Jan Huebner

Two years later, and with a sole DFB Cup appearance to his name in the famous red of Bayern, Lewandowski's words resonate even more prophetically.

Reflecting on the whirlwind nature of his breakout, Arp himself describes the experience as both “a curse and a blessing”.

“Probably everything together was too much," he told Kicker in April this year. “It’s a curse and a blessing for a young football player to always reflect on and assess everything.

“Maybe I should have turned all the praise into self-confidence more consistently. Rather, it slowed me down.”

It's a mature take and suggests a more mature Arp, who turned 21 in January. And having spent his time in Munich mostly with the reserves, he now looks to be enjoying a new lease of life on loan at Kiel.

After a trio of 3-0 defeats across the first three matchdays of the season, Arp was dropped to the bench as Kiel picked up their first point of the campaign on Matchday 4 and, having been restored to the starting line up a week later, scored his first league goal of 2021/22 to help Die Störche to all three points as they were emerged 3-0 victors over Erzgebirge Aue.

Watch: Highlights of Kiel’s win over Aue, including Arp’s goal

Back in his familial surrounds of north Germany, the Bad Segeberg native - like fellow Bayern loanee Sarpreet Singh - seems to be finding a home to flourish in away from the Allianz Arena spotlight that may well serve both the player and Bayern well in the future.

“I'm really happy to have the chance to play for Kiel, near my home. They played some refreshing football last season, and I'm up for being part of a successful side once again," Arp said of the move to last year's Bundesliga play-off losers.

Having also found the back of the net in Kiel's DFB Cup first-round win over Weiche Flensburg, Arp now has two goals in five appearances since joining the club.

It represents a promising start without whipping up the same kind of fervour as his initial breakout, which may well do the young striker the world of good.

As Lewandowski also noted in 2019, “[Arp]'s time will come” and, if history has told us anything, that man knows what he's talking about.