On the 1st of September Christoph Freund officially took up his position as Bayern Munich’s new sporting director. Part of his role alongside manager Thomas Tuchel and technical director Marco Neppe will be to identify and encourage players within the Bayern production line in order to strengthen the senior side. Is defensive midfielder Aleksandar Pavlovic the next man up?
To help with the task of promoting from within, Bayern have brought in Richard Kitzbichler with the title of ‘coordinator of talent promotion’, both he and Christoph Freund have been busy watching the youth ranks already according to BILD, and one player, in particular, carries great hope within the Bayern hierarchy. Munich born Aleksandar Pavlovic.
It’s no secret that Thomas Tuchel has been in the market for a number #6, with some reports indicating that his constant comments have become an irritation to some within Munich. Bayern were close to securing the signature of Joao Palhinha on deadline day, only for the deal to collapse at the final hurdle owing to Fulham’s inability to secure a replacement. Reports this week indicated Bayern will reignite their interest in January, but what if the need for a #6 disappears?
Could Aleksandar Pavlovic fill the role of the #6 that Tuchel desperately craves?
Among the management tree at Bayern, there is a great deal of optimism with 19-year-old Aleksandar Pavlovic, a 6’1 defensive midfielder who’s renowned for his ability to break up play and distribute the ball effectively.
Pavlovic has been with Bayern since 2011 when he signed on from SC Fürstenfeldbruck Youth. He’s slowly worked his way through the ranks and made an appearance on the bench for Die Roten at the end of the 2022/23 season in games against FC Schalke 04 and Werder Bremen. While he didn’t see any minutes, being part of the first-team set-up is vital in terms of development.
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At one point this summer it appeared as though Pavlovic would be sent out on loan in order to develop and refine his game, something that usually only happens with first-team football. But yesterday he was impressing Freund and Kitzbichler in a small training session alongside first-team midfielder Leon Goretzka.
Pavlovic is also coming off a fine pre-season campaign where he impressed throughout, playing well against the likes of Liverpool, AS Monaco, Kawasaki Frontale, and Manchester City. The next logical step in his development is to receive first-team minutes.
Right now Tuchel seems content to play Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka with Konrad Laimer as the first man off the bench. But with Bayern playing on multiple fronts, there will need to be an element of squad rotation and I think we’re all hoping to see Pavlovic given an opportunity. You never know, maybe Joao Palhinha won’t be needed in January.