Youngsters Tarek Buchmann, Arijon Ibrahimovic, Tom Ritzy Hülsmann, Yusuf Kabadayi and Lovro Zvonarek (from l.) are all training with the Bayern Munich first team in Doha. - © 2023 DFL
Youngsters Tarek Buchmann, Arijon Ibrahimovic, Tom Ritzy Hülsmann, Yusuf Kabadayi and Lovro Zvonarek (from l.) are all training with the Bayern Munich first team in Doha. - © 2023 DFL

Bayern Munich’s class of 2023: Ibrahimovic, Buchmann, Zvonarek, Hülsmann and Kabadayi set for Doha test


The names Arijon Ibrahimovic, Tarek Buchmann, Lovro Zvonarek, Tom Ritzy Hülsmann and Yusuf Kabadayi may not roll off the tongue just yet, but the youthful quintet have an opportunity to change all that by joining the Bayern Munich first team on their winter training camp in Doha.

Julian Nagelsmann has named the academy players in a 24-man squad he will be putting through their paces over six days in Qatar this January, in preparation for the resumption of Bundesliga action against RB Leipzig on 20 January. takes a closer look…

Tom Ritzy Hülsmann
Age: 18
Position: Goalkeeper
2022/23 stats: U19 Bundesliga Süd/Südwest: 3 appearances; Regionalliga Bayern: 3 appearances, UEFA Youth League: 2 appearances

The goalkeeper position at Bayern is usually locked down firmly, but a freak skiing accident has sidelined Manuel Neuer for the rest of the season, meaning a rare opportunity is knocking. Though Neuer’s trusted understudy Sven Ulreich has his nose ahead right now, Hülsmann and Johannes Schenk are the only other custodians on Bayern’s books – should there be no transfer activity – and why not seize this opportunity? At 6’6” (2 metres), Hülsmann has the frame to fill a goal-sized void, while he has already challenged Schenk and filled his designated gloves in the UEFA Youth League, keeping a clean sheet against Inter Milan. While realistically not an option to make his Bundesliga debut in the second half of the season, Hülsmann, who joined the club from Eintracht Trier in 2017, will no doubt benefit from training with the first team in Doha, and you can never predict when injuries could let him in.

Tom Ritzy Hülsmann is on a fast track to the Bayern first team, having already stepped up a level to feature in the UEFA Youth League. - IMAGO/Sven Leifer/IMAGO/foto2press

Tarek Buchmann
Age: 17
Position: Central defender
2022/23 stats: U19 Bundesliga Süd/Südwest: 5 appearances; UEFA Youth League: 5 appearances

Bayern may not have to reach for the cheque book the next time they need to strengthen the heart of their defence, with Tarek Buchmann on the brink of becoming a regular figure in the first team’s training sessions. The 17-year-old defender has already impressed Nagelsmann enough to earn a closer inspection in Qatar, though the coach’s admiration for the tall central defender goes way back. Indeed, Nagelsmann already had his eye on him back in July, only to leave the captain of Bayern’s U19s to focus on his development at that level. Already recognised with the German Football Association’s bronze Fritz Walter medal for youth excellence, he was at the heart of the Germany U17 defence at the U17 European Championship last summer and is set to step up to represent his country’s U19s in the spring. With an air of Jerome Boateng about him, he is already a leader, captaining Bayern’s U19s five times in their Youth League campaign.

Arijon Ibrahimovic
Age: 17
Position: Attacking midfielder
2022/23 stats: U19 Bundesliga Süd/Südwest: 9 appearances/10 goals; UEFA Youth League: 5 appearances/3 goals; Regionalliga Bayern: 2 appearances

The name Ibrahimovic may already be well known around the world, but Arijon, rather than Zlatan, is becoming increasingly familiar in footballing circles now too, having already trained regularly with the Bayern first team. As soon as he became eligible to be included in a Bundesliga matchday squad upon turning 16, Ibrahimovic was named among the substitutes in the 2-1 defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 18 of the top flight's 2021/22 edition. Although he has yet to make his first-team debut, Ibrahimovic has set on the bench several times, including in the UEFA Champions League, and has an impressive return of 10 goals from his nine outings with the Bavarian club’s U19s. He also shone with three goals and two assists in Bayern’s Youth League campaign, and is now ready to dribble his way into the Bayern first team by impressing Nagelsmann even more in Doha.

Arijon Ibrahimovic (l) is no stranger to training with Bayern, but could he be in line for a slice of the first-team action? - imago images

Lovro Zvonarek
Age: 17
Position: Attacking midfielder
2022/23 stats: Regionalliga Bayern: 17 appearances/4 goals; UEFA Youth League: 4 appearances

Players are often being likened to more illustrious senior pros, and for Croatian youth international Lovro Zvonarek, former World Player of the Year Luka Modric is the obvious choice. Although more of an attacking midfielder than the Real Madrid all-rounder, Zvonarek has shown already that he has a similar touch and game understanding to his compatriot, which is arguably why Bayern were so keen on signing him from Slaven Belupo, where he became the youngest player ever to lead out a European team in a top-flight fixture just four days before turning 17. He remained captain for all five of the club's final games of the season before moving to Munich, where he is now set to be given the chance to show Nagelsmann just why that comparison with Modric makes perfect sense.

Yusuf Kabadayi
Age: 18
Position: Winger
2022/23 stats: Regionalliga Bayern: 7 appearances/2 goals; UEFA Youth League: 3 appearances/1 goal

First the professional contract, now the professional debut? Yusuf Kabadayi put pen to paper on his first professional contract just under a year ago, committing himself to Bayern until 2024 and extending his stay with the club into a second decade. That's right, Kabadayi – who represented Turkey at U15 and U16 level, but has since appeared for Germany's U18a and U19s – first joined Bayern at the age of seven. Having come through the ranks from U8 level to U19, the club could not be any prouder. “Yusi’s a hugely talented forward,” said academy manager Holger Seitz. “He’s a predator and I’m really excited about his future with us, and really have high hopes in him.” The left winger, who can also play down the middle or on the right, can now do Seitz and Bayern proud by impressing Nagelsmann in the desert.