Meritan Shabani (c.) tries to outfox his tormented Eintracht Frankfurt markers last April. - © © imago / ActionPictures
Meritan Shabani (c.) tries to outfox his tormented Eintracht Frankfurt markers last April. - © © imago / ActionPictures

Meritan Shabani, Timothy Tillman and Bayern Munich's young talents ready for the International Champions Cup


When Bayern Munich take on fellow footballing giants Paris-Saint Germain, Juventus and Manchester City in the International Champions Cup this summer, expect to see several of the Bavarian side's future stars burn brightly under the guise of new coach Niko Kovac.

But just who are these up and coming talents we can expect to see when Bayern get down to pre-season friendly business in Klagenfurt, Philadelphia and Miami this July? puts several names under the spotlight.

Franck Evina

Date of birth: 5 July, 2000
Position: Striker, winger

Defender Lars Lukas Mai's development has been rapid since he trained with Bayern's senior squad last year. - © imago / DeFodi

It's been a phenomenal year for the versatile, Cameroon-born attacker. From scoring goals with Bayern's Under-17s to teaming up with the seniors during pre-season last year, Evina went on to become the club's fifth-youngest debutant in April before signing professional terms with the Bavarian giants. The Germany Under-18 international's power, pace and confident crossing ability were all on display in his maiden Bundesliga appearance against Eintracht Frankfurt.

What they’re saying: "This player really could become something special. However, he still needs guidance and should correct some things in training." - Jupp Heynckes

Lars Lukas Mai

Date of birth: 31 March, 2000
Position: Defender, defensive midfielder

Pointing the way to No.1: Ron-Thorben Hoffman has designs on being Bayern's first-choice custodian. - © imago / Lackovic

The first player born in the 21st century to represent Bayern, the 18-year-old Mai enjoyed a senior debut to remember, featuring for a full 90 minutes alongside Jerome Boateng in central defence as the Bavarians won handsomely away at Hannover. Prior to signing a three-year contract at Säbener Strasse, Mai went on to make his second successive appearance in the Bundesliga the following week against Eintracht. Tall, elegant in possession and with assured tackling, the Bayern Under-19 captain already looks a future great.

What they’re saying: "He showed his potential in his debut in Hanover, in numerous training sessions with the seniors and in our youth teams. We have great faith in his abilities." - Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.

Meritan Shabani

Date of birth: 15 March, 1999
Position: Attacking midfielder, winger

With a keen eye for a penetrating pass and capable of scoring spectacular goals, it's no wonder that Bayern fans are already delighting in the hot prospect that is Meritan Shabani. At the club since he was seven, Shabani's versatility has seen him play out wide, through the middle and just behind the striker for the club's Under-19s, for whom he registered eight goals and provided five assists in the youth championship. Having also debuted against Eintracht in April, expect to delight in this teen's skills over the summer.    

What they’re saying: "Shabani was involved in our friendly against Sonnenhof Großaspach and did very well. He’s part of a very talented group of youngsters.” - Heynckes.

Ron-Thorben Hoffmann

Date of birth: 4 April 1998
Position: Goalkeeper

In the midst of a goalkeeping injury crisis during the first half of 2017/18, Bayern called the assured teen custodian Hoffmann - a fan of the team since he was four -  into their squad on Matchday 15. Despite his tender years, this 19-year-old has been around. His latest feats have seen him keep 11 clean sheets in 24 games as Bayern won the south German Championship yet he had previously been on the books at Hansa Rostock, Hertha Berlin and RB Leipzig. Now a certified pro at Bayern, Hoffmann's future goal is to be the Bundesliga giants' No.1.

What they’re saying: "He has outstanding qualities. He has repeatedly demonstrated his skills at a top level, both in terms of control of the penalty area and on the goal-line." - Salihamidzic.

Timothy Tillman

Date of birth: 4 January 1999
Position: Winger, attacking midfielder

A pearl waiting to be plucked by the USMNT, Tillman is Nuremberg born to an American father. Formerly of SpVgg Greuther Fürth, the flying winger has been impressing ever since arriving at Säbener Strasse in 2015, with his tall, slender frame providing the basis for powerful acceleration combined with excellent close control. Older brother to USA youth teamer Malik, Tillman senior has drawn interest from several suitors, leading Bayern to take a strong stance in their determination to keep hold of their eye-catching trickster.

What they’re saying: "Timothy Tillman is the greatest talent we've had for 30 years. His departure is a disaster for our club." - Greuther Fürth president Helmut Hack following Tillman's departure for Bayern.

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