Bayern Munich’s reserve team is back in the third division after an eight-year absence, and the set-up that once brought through the likes of Thomas Müller, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Philipp Lahm is again packed full of promising talent that you could soon see in action with the first team.
Kwasi Okyere Wriedt
First-team games: 2
Country: Ghana (2 caps)
Hamburg-born striker Wriedt has been on the fringes of the senior team before, making two substitute appearances under Jupp Heynckes in 2017/18 following his signing from Osnabrück. The two-time Ghana international didn’t score in those games, but has been showing his ability to find the back of the net prolifically with the reserves.
In his two seasons there he has been banging in the goals – 47 in 65 games to be precise. He finished the 2018/19 Regionalliga Bayern season as the league’s top scorer by some distance with 24 goals – two more than his first-team equivalent Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga – before netting two more in the 4-1 play-off second-leg win as the Munich club overturned a 3-1 deficit against Wolfsburg. There has often been talk of the need for a back-up to Lewandowski, perhaps a year in professional football will see Wriedt develop into that.
First-team games: 2
Country: South Korea (2 U19 caps)
Jeong has already had a gentle introduction to life in professional football with two brief appearances for the Bayern first team in 5-1 wins over Benfica and Borussia Mönchengladbach. His debut came just months after his move from his homeland, becoming the first South Korean to play for the record champions and the youngest South Korean to play in the UEFA Champions League.
Away from the spotlight, he has settled into life in Munich very quickly and become a key member of the promotion-winning reserves. He has played whenever fit and not away with the senior squad, making 29 Regionalliga appearances. Since scoring a brace on debut, the 5’10’’-tall winger has been tough to stop, taking his goal tally to 13, as well as providing six assists. He also set up Wriedt’s goal to level the tie in the play-offs. Jeong could well be one of those next in line on the Bayern wings following the departures of club legends Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.
First-team games: 2
Country: Germany (3 U19 caps)
Another teenager with a teasing taste of senior football, Mai has been with Bayern since U16 level and was given 90 minutes each alongside World Cup winners Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels at the back end of 2017/18. This season, he has been an unused sub for the first team on nine occasions, and the 19-year-old is clearly seen by the club as the next defender in line.
The winner of the prestigious U17 bronze Fritz Walter Medal in 2017 has been building on his budding reputation this season with the reserves, forming a formidable partnership alongside experienced captain Nicolas Feldhahn in the Regionalliga’s tightest defence. Competition in the first-team defence is fierce with first-choice Niklas Süle alongside Boateng and Hummels, as well as Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez to come in, but Bayern have a history of promoting their own young to stardom.
Position: Attacking midfield
First-team games: 3
Country: Germany (2 U20 caps)
Local boy Shabani is seen as one of the hottest prospects in the Munich academy, where he has been learning his trade since joining as a seven-year-old in 2006. Another being eased into senior action, the attacking midfielder has been in the matchday squad for three Champions League games, and both his Bundesliga appearances have - coincidentally - come against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Since graduating from the U19s last summer, the 20-year-old attacking midifielder has played a telling part in the reserves’ promotion push. Shabani’s first nine games of the campaign saw him have a hand in eight Regionalliga goals while he also set up Bayern’s crucial consolation goal in their play-off first-leg defeat. It’s a star-studded midfield to break into, but someone likely said the same to Bastian Schweinsteiger when he was in the reserves.
First-team games: 0
Country: Germany (1 U19 cap)
Perhaps the name you have heard the least about of these five, but Köhn could well be a long-term successor to David Alaba at left-back, even wearing the same number 27 as his idol. Like Wriedt, he was born in Hamburg and has Ghanaian heritage, and has made the position his own with the reserves.
Over the course of his 62 appearances in two seasons, he has demonstrated both his defensive concentration and, like his first-team counterpart Alaba, a willing ability to get forward. Also capable of playing on the wings, Köhn is an exciting prospect suited to the record champions’ play and could soon be challenging the eight-time Bundesliga champion for a place in Niko Kovac's starting XI.