Josip Stanisic started Bayern Munich's season opener against Borussia Mönchengladbach and has won praise from coach Julian Nagelsmann. bundesliga.com has the lowdown on the record champions' next up-and-coming youngster...
Club: Bayern Munich
Country: Croatia/Germany (U19)
Stanisic has been a regular in Germany's 3. Liga over the past two seasons, turning out over 40 times for the Bayern reserves. He learned his craft in the youth teams of 1860 Munich and Fürstenfeldbrück, before moving to Bayern in 2017. A year later, he made his debut for the Germany U19s in a friendly against the Netherlands, but is also eligible to represent Croatia. Part of Bayern's U17 and 3. Liga-winning teams in 2016/17 and 2019/20 respectively, the 6'1" defender made his senior debut against Union on 10 April 2021 at left-back in place of the suspended Alphonso Davies. He has also operated on his natural right-hand side, his preferred centre-half role, and even at defensive midfield in pre-season.
Plays a bit like: Benjamin Pavard
Something of a defensive all-rounder with a leaning towards the heart of the defence, Stanisic is very much in the Benjamin Pavard mould. Like Bayern's 2018 FIFA World Cup winner, he provides his teammates with a useful attacking outlet, as evinced by his three goals and two assists in 44 outings for the U19s, as well as his three attempts on Gladbach's goal on Friday.
Did you know?
Stanisic remains eligible to represent Croatia and Germany internationally, and despite recent reports that he might make the former's next U21 squad, he has, until now, rejected their advances. "His dad told us he wants to play for Germany," federation director Sreten Cuk previously said.
The Bayern defender, who reportedly took advice on the subject from ex-Bayern forward Dieter Hoeneß, earned his two youth international caps to date for Germany's U19s in November 2018.
What they're saying
"Josip's a great guy. We back him to take this important step into the first team as well as he’s done so far as the Campus." - Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic
"I was generally very satisfied with Stani. He lost the ball in a dangerous situation in the second half. Otherwise, he was very good, did well offensively and defended well. He's a reliable player." - Nagelsmann after handing Stanisic a start on MD1.
"Josip's a real talent, which is why we tried to get him to play for us." - Cuk