Armindo Sieb has blazed a trail in German youth football, scoring goals for fun for Hoffenheim as well as Die Mannschaft to earn a move to Bayern Munich whilst drawing comparisons with Serge Gnabry. But what else is there to know?
bundesliga.com has the scoop…
Club: Bayern Munich
Country: Germany (2 U18 caps)
Sieb was born in Halle, a 35-minute drive west of Leipzig, in February 2003. As one of the most promising young attacking talents in eastern Germany, it was little surprise to see him picked up by ambitious Saxony upstarts RB Leipzig at the age of 14. He only hung around for one season at the Red Bull Arena, though, leaving for Hoffenheim in July 2018. Former Hoffenheim and Leipzig boss and current Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann may have made the opposite journey in 2019, but at academy level Die Kraichgauer are UEFA Youth league regulars with a litany of German age-group titles to their name.
Sieb hit the ground running with Danny Galm's U17s. Only 15 years, five months and 26 days old when he made his debut in a 2-1 win at Augsburg, the young forward concluded his first campaign with 10 goals from 25 games. The 2019/20 season saw him grow - both physically and as an all-round attacking threat - and before the coronavirus-enforced break in play he had matched the previous year's goal tally in 10 fewer games, while adding five assists.
He was soon on the move again, and after signing a three-year contract with Bayern in July 2020, he got two goals and two assists in 12 3. Liga games for the German champions' reserve team in 2020/21. The highlight of that season, though, will have been when he made his first-team debut in October 2020, coming on as a substitute in a DFB Cup win over FC Düren.
Sieb has been a regular goalscorer for his country too. After getting six goals in nine games for Germany's U17 team, he made his Germany U18 debut in September 2020.
Plays a bit like: Serge Gnabry
Sieb has been nicknamed "mini-Gnabry" by his teammates and the parallels go far beyond his striking physical similarity to the Bayern and Germany star.
Able to finish chances with both feet, Sieb packs plenty of strength into his 5'9" frame. His pace and explosive power make him a nightmare to handle regardless of where he lines up in the final third, be it on either flank, behind the striker, or leading the line himself.
Gnabry spent a season on loan at Hoffenheim in 2017/18, scoring 10 goals - including a wonder-strike against Leipzig - in 22 games. At the rate Sieb is progressing, it shouldn't be too long until he's matching Gnabry at senior level. Smashing home a goal in Nagelsmann's first game as Bayern coach - a friendly against Cologne in July 2021 - certainly helped his cause.
Watch: Gnabry's incredible lob scored for Hoffenheim against Leipzig in December 2017
Did you know?
Sieb does have some bad memories of his senior debut with Bayern. He was initially given his chance because the match had been rescheduled in an already packed season to take place right after an international break. Bayern rested many of their senior players against fifth-tier opposition as a result, paving the way for Sieb to replace Douglas Costa on 61 minutes.
The youngster had to be replaced 20-odd minutes later, however, having suffered an ankle ligament injury that kept him out for several months. At 17 years and 241 days, though, Sieb had become the third-youngest Bayern to player to feature in the DFB Cup after Jamal Musiala and David Alaba.
What they're saying
"He's earned the experience by working hard every day at the club." - Bayern U19 coach Danny Galm - formerly of the Hoffenheim U17s - after Sieb was called up by Germany
"What do broad shoulders bring you if you don't have the heart of a lion?" - Sieb, in a thank you message to his mother on Instagram, after reaching three goals in three games for Germany's U17 team