Following in the footsteps of Kai Havertz as a prized German youngster, Nicolas Kühn has been brought back to Germany by Bayern Munich to follow a similar path tread by Serge Gnabry.
bundesliga.com presents the latest addition to their growing batch of wily wingers…
Club: Bayern Munich (on loan from Ajax)
Country: Germany (U20 international)
Few clubs in Europe boast a better reputation when it comes to their academy than Dutch giants Ajax, which is why Kühn leapt at the opportunity to learn the ropes in Amsterdam when they came calling his former club RB Leipzig back in January 2018.
After successfully taking the step up from U17 to U19 level in Leipzig – reflecting the step-by-step path he has taken from U15 level through to U20 level for Germany – Kühn left Germany to be part of Ajax's U21 side. "I hope I'll be knocking on the first-team door come the summer," said Kühn upon joining Ajax. "I just hope things move quickly."
Kühn caught the eye with three goals and two assists in his first three outings with Ajax's U21s, while he capped his first full year in the Netherlands by winning the Dutch U19 title. He netted four goals in total and set up another five, and also gained UEFA Youth League experience.
Although he regularly trained with the first team – who, under Erik ten Hag, reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League and were seconds away from reaching the final – Kühn did not manage to break into the senior side.
Back in Germany, Kühn can benefit from training under Sebastian Hoeneß, who initially lured him to Leipzig from Hannover at the age of 15 and also coached him there. He'll hope to gradually edge closer to a senior appearance in the Bundesliga, with current Bayern coach Hansi Flick showing no fear of fielding young players.
Plays a bit like: Kingsley Coman
A player who loves nothing more than to have the ball at his feet and dribble at his opponents, Kühn resembles a Coman type of player. With a high level of confidence, Kühn is not afraid to take risks by seeking one-on-ones and taking on his opponents, using his pace and excellent close control to deadly effect. Kühn is also a rather rare commodity in being left-footed, but he is equally at home on the left or the right, or even behind the strikers as a support man.
Did you know
In 2019, Kühn was awarded the gold Fritz-Walter medal as Germany's best young footballer at U19 level. He follows in the footsteps of Kai Havertz (2018), Jonathan Tah (2016) and Matthias Ginter (2013), to name just three previous winners.
In 2015/16, Kühn burst onto the scene with 18 goals in 22 games in the U17 Bundesliga with Leipzig.
He was convinced to join Ajax after his first conversation with the club, which was with none other than former Netherlands winger Marc Overmars. "He was an absolute world class player in my position," Kühn told Die Zeit.
What they're saying
“We’ve been following Nicolas for a few years now and are pleased to now have him in a Bayern shirt for half a year. This loan is an interesting story for all sides.” - Jochen Sauer, head of the FC Bayern Campus.
"He's a very intelligent footballer, technically very gifted, creative, dangerous in front of goal and, above all, incredibly quick with the ball." – Manuel Baum, Germany U20 coach.