Having joined up with his new teammates this summer, Fiete Arp says it is "a dream come true" to be a Bayern Munich player, but admits that he has some catching up to do in order to reach the desired level of Germany's biggest club.
The record Bundesliga champions go in search of an eighth consecutive league title in 2019/20 with Arp part of Bayern’s recruitment drive that has also seen Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard make the move to the Allianz Arena.
As ever, expectations in Munich are heightened but the 6’0” striker is already enjoying getting acclimatised to life at Bayern, where he started all three of his team’s International Champions Cup fixtures in the USA against European heavyweights Real Madrid, Arsenal and AC Milan.
Watch: Niko Kovac on new signing Fiete Arp
“It definitely did [feel special joining Bayern]. The names are bigger, the grounds are bigger and the facilities are amazing. I had a peak at them previously but being around the lads now is a dream come true,” Arp told fcbayern.tv.
“I’ve never experienced anything like [the tour of the USA] but I think every player dreams about playing against Real Madrid for Bayern Munich. This whole trip; the destinations, the cities, the people you meet, it really is extreme.”
One of those people Arp met was NBA superstar James Harden, another example of the new circles the former Hamburg striker walks in.
And hearing Arp - the first player born in the 21st century to score in the German top flight - describe the rapidity of Bayern’s game, could make you think they play a sport more akin to Harden’s profession than his own.
“Nothing I have ever experienced compares to the speed of the game [at Bayern]. I’ve played Bundesliga and other games but here it seems like a different sport. It’s quite incredible to see first hand how these guys perform and what the actual differences are,” explained Arp, who scored four goals in 38 appearances in all competitions for HSV across his two seasons with the first team.
“You can’t see that on TV and it really is fascinating to see what the Bayern players have achieved over the past years. I hope I can integrate here and be successful.”
Arp joins Bayern as understudy to legendary goal-getter Robert Lewandowski - who the Germany U19 international lists alongside England’s Harry Kane and Argentina’s Sergio Aguero as inspirations - and believes there is no better place for his development than with the reigning champions.
Coach Niko Kovac has already stated his teenage prodigy will “become a first-team player sooner rather than later”, with time on Arp’s side to even further improve in his new surrounds.
And, crucially, he clearly isn’t work shy.
“I joined Bayern at 19 and I still have many things to improve in all areas,” he said. “Because of the quality in the training sessions, I don’t think there’s a better place for me to develop.
“I don’t have a specific plan and I think it’s difficult. You never know how far you can go but as a young player what I want to do is use my full potential.
“What I need to work on here are speed of thought and action. The speed here requires a lot of getting used to and that’s the first thing I need to focus on to be successful here.”