New Bayern Munich attacker Mathys Tel has shown a steely determination to improve his game since breaking into the Rennes first team in 2021. - © IMAGO/Zac Goodwin/IMAGO/PA Images
New Bayern Munich attacker Mathys Tel has shown a steely determination to improve his game since breaking into the Rennes first team in 2021. - © IMAGO/Zac Goodwin/IMAGO/PA Images

Mathys Tel: Who is the Bayern Munich prodigy and European U17 champion?


Bayern Munich have high hopes for one of the most promising young attackers in Europe after bringing France U17 captain Mathys Tel to the club. fills you in on a player that broke records at Rennes and is capable of performing in a number of different roles for the German champions.

Mathys Tel

Age: 17
Club: Bayern Munich
Position: Forward
Country: France (six caps/five goals for the U18s)

Key Stats

From Sarcelles in the Paris suburbs, Tel played as a youngster for local clubs Villiers Le Bel, Paris FC, ASJ Aubervilliers and Montrouge FC as well as spending time at the famous Clairefontaine academy. A move west to Brittany then followed, and at the age of 15 he signed for Rennes in 2020. The flexible right-footed player was a centre-back when the switch was agreed, but he had begun moving further up the pitch by the time he arrived at his new club. His progress from there was rapid. In August 2021, Tel became the youngest player ever to line out for Rennes when he came on for the final five minutes of their 1-1 draw at Brest. The six-foot tall attacker was just 16 years, three months and 19 days old when he made his competitive debut, and in total the teenager featured 10 times from the bench across all competitions in the 2021/22 campaign.

Mathys Tel has burst into the scene a little like his compatriot Kylian Mbappe (l.) who won the 2018 FIFA World Cup with France alongside current Bayern Munich defender Lucas Hernandez (r). - 2018 Getty Images

Tel is already a high achiever at international level too. He has played for the France U18 team but in summer 2022 he led the France U17 side to victory at the European Championship in Israel. The new Bayern player got three goals and an assist in the group stage before scoring in penalty shootout wins over Germany and Portugal. He lifted the trophy as captain following a 2-1 success against the Netherlands in the final on 1 June.

Plays a bit like: Kylian Mbappe

Any particularly good young French attacking talent is bound to be compared to Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe, and Tel justifiably falls into that bracket. He is similar both in terms of his career path - as an exciting youngster who everyone was talking about before they turned 17 - and in style. Quick and a good dribbler, Tel admitted when he signed his first pro contract that he still needed to work out what position suits him best. That's something many of his coaches have pondered too, but one of Tel's key strengths is his ability to adapt to any role he's asked to play.

He was thrown on to the wing in a 4-3-3 system for his debut, a position Mbappe has excelled in for club and country. The latest talent to join the sizeable French contingent at Bayern has played across the front line and in central midfield over the years, and like Mbappe he has shown he is capable of thriving in a more central role too. The teenager featured as a centre forward in a 4-3-3 formation during France's triumphant European U17 Championship campaign.

Did you know? 

Tel broke a record previously held by Eduardo Camavinga when he made his debut for Rennes. If he develops as quickly as Camavinga - who has since joined Real Madrid and been capped by France - then Bayern fans are in for a treat. By moving to Germany, meanwhile, Tel is following the tracks of another former Rennes player. Ousmane Dembele starred for Borussia Dortmund in the 2016/17 season before departing for Barcelona after one season in the Bundesliga.

What they're saying

"He's a player who - for a start - is significantly more mature than the average for his age. His athletic qualities are also above the norm but it's not only that. His technical ability and his game intelligence struck me." – Rennes head coach Bruno Genesio on why he brought Tel into the first-team squad so early

"He's a very young, talented player who can play different positions… he's very quick, strong with his body. He's good at defending the ball with his back towards the opponent's goal… I have the vision that he could score 40 goals [in a season like Robert Lewandowski] one day in the future." – Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann on the club's plans to mould Tel into a world-class forward

“Mathys is one of the biggest talents in Europe, a very quick, technically strong and versatile striker. He won the European Championships with the France U17s this year as captain of the team. We’ve been watching him for a long time and we were able to convince him to take his next important steps in Munich with us now. We are proud of that, as there were a lot of clubs who wanted to sign him. The development of such an exceptional young player is an exciting project for us all. Of course, Mathys needs time, he needs minutes on the pitch and rhythm. We are all convinced he has a great career in front of him and that he will help our team.” – Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic