Bayern Munich have further strengthened their U19 squad for next season with the acquisition of Mamin Sanyang from Hoffenheim. A marauding Gambian right wing-back, what else is there to know about the latest youngster to join the FC Bayern Campus?
Club: Bayern Munich
Position: Right-back/right winger
Sanyang was born in Brikama, a city in the extreme west of the Gambia, in February 2003. Seeking to escape civil strife in the country, Sanyang's family arrived in Germany as refugees in 2013 when the youngster was 10, settling in Baden-Württemberg near the Bavarian border. Sanyang soon joined the youth academy of local Bundesliga 2 side Heidenheim, and after three promising seasons there he made the move to UEFA Youth League regulars Hoffenheim, where he lived alongside another recent Bayern recruit from Die Kraichgauer, Armindo Sieb.
With wrestling the national sport in Gambia, it's perhaps a good thing that the 5'6"-tall Sanyang left the country of his birth, quite aside from any political situation. Although he still has time to grow - Sanyang doesn't turn 18 until next February - his explosive turn of pace has been palpable for quite some time. It has helped him to eight goals and four assists from the right flank for Hoffenheim's U17s this season, and he was unfazed on making the step up to the U19s, scoring on his debut in a 4-0 win over Ulm in February.
Sanyang's next game at that level was a 6-0 reverse to Bayern one week later, but despite the chastening result the record champions were suitably impressed by the shift the 17-year-old put in against Bright Arrey-Mbi an Co. and signed him to a three-year contract at the conclusion of the U19-Bundesliga Süd/Südwest season. As yet uncapped for the Gambia, Sanyang will also be eligible for Germany youth age group duty from next year, which will be his eighth in the country.
Plays a bit like: Joshua Kimmich
With his low centre of gravity, explosive turn of pace, and tenacity when trying to win back possession, Sanyang bears more than a passing resemblance to Kimmich, at least the recent right-back version. He also shares some of the Germany star's passing prowess, able to play the simple ball or thread it through the eye of a needle to break the lines and help his side onto the front foot - hence the four assists he managed for Hoffenheim this term.
Bayern are known to be looking for an attacking right-back now that Kimmich seems to have made the move to central midfield on a full-time basis. Natural centre-back Benjamin Pavard deputised with aplomb this term, but the loan deal for Alvaro Odriozola suggests there is room for that role in the senior squad in the near future.
Watch: What made Kimmich such an effective right-back
Did you know?
Should Sanyang indeed make his Bundesliga debut, he is set to become the fourth Gambian national to feature in the German top flight after Augsburg's Dawda Bah (2011-2012), Hamburg's Bakery Jatta (2016-2018) and Werder Bremen's Ousman Manneh (2016-2017) - assuming VfB Stuttgart don't promote goalkeeper Baboucarr Gaye from their reserves first.
Sanyang would also appear to be one of the rare players who is right-footed but left-handed, if the hand he signed the contract which runs until 2023 is to be believed…
What they're saying
"Mamin's an extremely fast and dangerous wide player. We see him as an ideal reinforcement for our U19 team and are very happy that he'll wear the Bayern jersey in the future." - Bayern Campus Manager Jochen Sauer