Julian Nagelsmann (l.) has spoken of his own personal intervention in convincing 16-year-old Paul Wanner (r.) to commit to Bayern Munich. - © Markus Ulmer via www.imago-images.de/imago images/ULMER Pressebildagentur
Julian Nagelsmann (l.) has spoken of his own personal intervention in convincing 16-year-old Paul Wanner (r.) to commit to Bayern Munich. - © Markus Ulmer via www.imago-images.de/imago images/ULMER Pressebildagentur
bundesliga

Julian Nagelsmann on Bayern Munich teenager Paul Wanner: "I fought for him to stay"

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Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann has spoken of how he personally intervened to ensure that teenage prodigy Paul Wanner would remain at the club.

Wanner, 16, recently signed a contract extension at the Bundesliga champions after breaking into the first team. He was also handed the number 14 shirt, once worn by midfield maestro Xabi Alonso.

“I fought for him so he wouldn’t leave the club, so he stays with us,” Nagelsmann stated at his press conference ahead of the Matchday 21 encounter with former club RB Leipzig. “I had some discussions with him that were important to convince him.”

The midfielder was only 15 days past his 16th birthday when he became the youngest player ever to appear for Bayern’s senior team in the Bundesliga era, coming on for the final quarter hour of the Matchday 18 defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach.

He has featured in both games since, amassing a further 17 minutes against Cologne and Hertha Berlin.

Watch: How the Bundesliga creates young stars

“My goal is for him to be a key first-team player for us one day. That’s the idea and why we extended with him,” the 34-year-old tactician explained further.

“Now it’s about using this half year to fully find his feet, be fully tested and everything that’s part of it. We need to create a good individual training plan, but also handle school. You forget with a 16-year-old that there’s compulsory education in Germany, which we as Bayern Munich and also Paul Wanner need to comply with.”

The Austria-born Germany U17 international joined Bayern as a 12-year-old from Ravensburg in 2018, beginning in the U14s. He started this season turning out for the U17s and U19s before Nagelsmann made the decision to move him into the senior fold – training alongside current senior Germany international midfielders like Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Jamal Musiala – and throw him into the deep end, having never even featured for the reserves before.

Wanner (c.) has been given the opportunity to train and play alongside a world-class midfielder like Joshua Kimmich (l.). - Maja Hitij/Getty Images

“It’s about the foundation to give him the best possible development. Then we’ll see what the next steps are,” Nagelsmann added. “He’s also had a lot of playing time for his age and will have more playing time. He’s in training with us and doing well.

“But it’s about good quality training, developing physically, getting to a top physical level. Then he’s a player with really great potential, of which – ideally – Bayern and I will have great joy in the coming weeks, months and years.”