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Arijon Ibrahmovic is now part of the Bayern Munich first-team squad. - © IMAGO / Lackovic
Arijon Ibrahmovic is now part of the Bayern Munich first-team squad. - © IMAGO / Lackovic

Arijon Ibrahimovic: Who is the 17-year-old promoted to the Bayern Munich first team under Julian Nagelsmann?


By the time he was just 15 years old, Arijon Ibrahimovic was impressing Julian Nagelsmann during Bayern Munich’s pre-season preparations and has since been training regularly with the pros. And with a surname like that, he won’t be forgotten anytime soon...

bundesliga.com has the scoop on Bayern's newest teen sensation…

Arijon Ibrahimovic

Age: 17
Bayern Munich
Attacking midfield
Germany (U18 six caps / two goals)

Key stats 

Born in Nuremberg to Kosovan parents in 2005, Ibrahimovic - who has no relation to Sweden star Zlatan - made his first steps in club football at Greuther Fürth. In 2014, aged nine, Ibrahimovic moved across town to join Nuremberg to continue his youth development. After only four years there, Bavaria's biggest club came knocking and he joined Bayern.

The teenager has progressed quickly through the Bayern ranks. - imago images

Since being a part of the youth set-up at Bayern's campus, Ibrahimovic has developed into one of the most highly regarded young talents at the club, quickly climbing through the age groups. The teen made his debut for Bayern's U17 team aged just 14, scoring twice and assisting three times in five appearances in 2020/21. And despite being only turning 16 in December 2021, he was promoted to the U19 team that same year. In 2022/23, Ibrahimovic has continued to soar; scoring 10 times in nine outings for the U19s and going on to make a further two appearances for Bayern's reserves, where he has provided two assists for his teammates.

His name came into sharper focus when he trained with Julian Nagelsmann's first-team squad during pre-season ahead of the 2021/22 campaign. Ibrahimovic took to the pitch against the likes of Dayot Upamecano and Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, and even scored during a training match.

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. He has been training with the first team at regular intervals since and Nagelsmann has included the teenager in squads for the Matchday 11 victory over Hoffenheim and again in the win against Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League. In January 2023, the Bayern Campus gradute was promoted to the first team upon signing a contract extension through to 2025.

Plays a bit like: Leon Goretzka

A box-to-box midfielder who is just as happy to do the dirty work in defence as he is to race forward and support attack, Ibrahimovic has been likened to Bayern's industrious Germany international Leon Goretzka.

Ibrahimovic debuted for the Bayern U17 team while he was only 14 during the 2020/21 season. - imago images

Ibrahimovic has displayed outstanding technical skills on the ball, as well as in-game intelligence in terms of pressing and positioning which have impressed his coaches at the home of the record Bundesliga champions.

Did you know?

The young Ibrahimovic is well aware of his namesake in Zlatan, and has described both the Swede and Cristiano Ronaldo as his idols. The 17-year-old showed his similar mentality to Zlatan in an Instagram post recently, with a quote akin to that once famously said by the former AC Milan, Inter Milan, Barcelona, PSG and Manchester United striker: "Lions do not compare themselves to humans."

This post instead reads: "The tiger and the lion may be stronger. But the wolf doesn't perform in the circus."

What they're saying

"We're very happy to have extended Ari Ibrahimovic's contract. He's developed very well with us and will now be part of our first-team squad. We've nurtured him at the Bayern Campus, and he's one of the guys we expect a lot of." - Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic

"Well, I play in attack and score a few goals. But he's a bit better than me. Later I'd like to become a professional footballer, but that'll take time. Until then, I want to play well with the team and score many goals." - Ibrahimovic on his namesake and his hopes for the future.

"We’ve got a very good impression of him. Ari’s a very good attacking player, whose quality lies in taking on defenders in one-on-one situations. He can dribble really well." - Nagelsmann on Ibrahimovic