Alphonso Davies and Joshua Zirkzee are the youngsters furthest along in their Bayern Munich careers but – having won the third division title with the reserves – Sarpreet Singh, Chris Richards and a few others could soon enjoy major breakthroughs of their own.
Finished in 2017, the FC Bayern Campus – a state-of-the-art youth academy – is now in full swing. Davies made Bayern's left-back spot his own in 2019/20 while Zirkzee got four goals in nine games, but who will be next to join them as first-team regulars?
Watch: Davies and Zirkzee both starred when Bayern beat Freiburg 3-1 on Matchday 16
With the latest crop of youngsters already proving their potential after being crowned 3. Liga champions in July, bundesliga.com takes a closer look at some of the brightest prospects...
Position: Attacking midfielder
Country: New Zealand (6 caps/1 goal)
A left-footed attacking midfielder, Singh joined Bayern from Wellington Phoenix having impressed whilst playing for New Zealand at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland. Initially drafted for Bayern's reserves in the third tier of German football, Singh was promoted to first-team training – alongside Zirkzee, Leon Dajaku and Oliver Batista Meier – in November. He made his Bundesliga debut the following month, replacing Philippe Coutinho for the final eight minutes of Bayern's 6-1 drubbing of Werder Bremen.
While the Brazilian stole the show that day with three goals and two assists, Singh's performances for Bayern II this term suggest he has the capacity to do the same. The son of Indian parents, he likes to turn and drive at defences, and is just as likely to slip the ball through to a teammate as he is to find the corner of the goal from the edge of the box. Only the Willem II-bound Kwasi Wright scored more goals (24) for the reserves in 2019/20, but he is a 25-year-old striker. Singh was the next most potent attacking force with seven goals and seven assists.
"I'm looking at what he does in tight spaces," the New Zealander said of training alongside Coutinho. "I play No.10 too, so there's no-one better to learn from!"
That close observation paid off, since Singh made his maiden start for the first team in the 3-1 win over Freiburg on Matchday 33.
Country: Germany (U19 cap)/Kosovo
Dajaku isn't the first VfB Stuttgart academy product on Bayern's books – see Germany international pair Serge Gnabry and Joshua Kimmich. He may well have been the most annoying for the record champions, though, having scored five goals in seven games against them at youth level before swapping the Swabians for Säbener Strasse last summer. Although his senior Bayern career is only 10 minutes old – Dajuku came on in the 4-0 win over Hertha Berlin and 2-0 success against Wolfsburg – four goals and as many assists for the reserves suggest Hansi Flick's faith is justified.
Watch: Dajaku's recent David Beckham impression
Dajaku occupies a similar starting position to Singh, but his profile is distinct. Where Singh's extra yard is in his head, Dajaku's is in his feet – not that his decision-making is anything like lacking. The 19-year-old has a blistering turn of pace, is direct, and can finish off either foot. A goal from inside his own half against Eintracht Braunschweig in October makes Germany youth coach Pascal Stöffler's assertion that Dajaku is "a real street footballer" ring rather true. Gnabry perhaps has the closest skill-set in Bayern's first-team squad.
Country: USA (U20 cap)
Richards and Lukas Mai formed a formidable central defensive partnership for Sebastian Hoeneß's second string in 2019/20, notably keeping four clean sheets soon after the turn of the year. Mai is two years on from his first-team debut, though, whereas Richards looks to be at the beginning of a very upward trajectory.
Jerome Boateng deserves praise for his resurgence, but at 31 he may not be the long-term solution. Now a paragon in the position, Niklas Süle is nonetheless recovering from a second ruptured cruciate ligament; whilst the highly regarded Bright Arrey-Mbi is yet to make the step up from the U19s. Richards senses his chance.
"There are still centre-backs here who are world class," he said recently. "I'm not taking anything away from them but I think it's time for me to start getting my shot at showing people what I have and hopefully one day becoming a Bayern legend."
Oliver Batista Meier
Country: Germany (U19 cap)/Brazil
A right-footed left sider with a penchant for free-kicks, Batista Meier is already at the centre of an international tug-of-war. Born in Kaiserslautern to a Brazilian mother, Batista Meier has represented Germany at every level between U15 and U19 but was called up for the Selecao U20s for friendlies against Peru and Colombia in December. With 12 goals and seven assists in just 11 U19 games for Bayern, it was perhaps unsurprising that he effectively bypassed the reserves to train with the first team.
"Coutinho still doesn't know I'm half-Brazilian," Batista Meier, who has forgotten some of his childhood Portuguese, confessed to SportBild. "I don't want him to know because then he'll want to talk to me and that'll be difficult, even though I see myself as Brazilian! My German side comes out sometimes, but my technique is perhaps more Brazilian."
Batista Meier ended up scoring four goals in 18 appearances for the reserves to help them beat Würzburger Kickers and Braunschweig to the third-tier title. The highlight of 2019/20, however, is surely his first-team debut – a 12-minute cameo in the 5-0 thrashing of Fortuna Düsseldforf on Matchday 29.
Position: Defensive midfielder
Country: Germany (U18 cap)
A left-footed defensive midfielder, Stiller was only promoted from the U19s to the reserves at the start of the year. He then then played every minute, however, as they put together a run of six wins from seven games. In Michael Cuisance – acquired from Borussia Mönchengladbach last summer – and Paul Will, Bayern are flush in the position. Stiller quickly made himself first choice – ending the season with 17 apperaances – and there is further reason to believe his progression may not have peaked.
Whilst Thiago Alcantara has formed a world-class double pivot with Kimmich in the first team, the latter is arguably the world's best right-back when used in the role. Even if Flick decides to keep Kimmich where he is, their first deputy, Javi Martinez, only started six league games in 2019/20. Readers may not have heard of Stiller yet, but there are few Bayern academy coaches who would be surprised if that was to change in the near future.