After the impressions of the past games and with a view to alternatives, there is actually a lot to be said for a starting eleven place for Mathys Tel in the quarter-final second leg of the Champions League against Manchester City. Coach Thomas Tuchel would thus stir up some spirit of optimism and send the 17-year-old striker an important signal.
After the 3-0 defeat in the first leg, FC Bayern Munich need at least three goals to progress against Manchester City in the second leg on Wednesday (9 p.m. in LIVETICKER). In Thomas Tuchel’s 4-2-3-1 system, which he has always practiced recently, the danger of scoring should primarily come from the solo striker. So let’s go through the obvious options for this role.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting? Has only played two games in the past six weeks due to back and knee problems, remained goalless in each case, is now back in the squad, but certainly not yet at 100 percent. According to Tuchel, whether it is enough for the starting eleven will only be decided on the day of the game. Serge Gnabry? Started twice as a centre-forward, disappointing and failing to score.
Thomas Müller? Rarely convincing in the center of the attack and, according to Tuchel, is “strongest around a point”. Sadio Mane? Is completely out of shape, was recently suspended for hitting Leroy Sané and has also proved over the course of the season that he is more valuable as a winger than as a solo striker.
And so to Mathys Tel. After FC Bayern sold Robert Lewandowski, who had been top scorer for years, to FC Barcelona last summer, the sporting management made the big mistake of not bringing in a suitable replacement. But it is easy to forget that a new attacker came for a lavish 20 million euros.
Mathys Tels strong statistics at FC Bayern
17-year-old Frenchman Mathys Tel from the Stade Rennes academy is considered one of the greatest talents in Europe. When he was hired, then coach Julian Nagelsmann announced that Tel could become “one of the best strikers” and could “one day score 40 goals a season” for Bayern. “But if he scores ten goals this season, we’ll all be happy.”
So far, Tel has only scored five times, but it only took 521 minutes to do so. On average, he scores a goal every 104 minutes, this figure is only just surpassed at FC Bayern by the ailing Choupo-Moting. Of course, the comparison should be treated with caution because of Tel’s lower total playing time, but it still has a certain significance.
Also interesting: next to Choupo-Moting, Tel is the only center forward candidate from Bayern Munich who scores significantly more goals than his statistical chances actually give. Keywords: goalscorer instinct and callousness. With Mané and Gnabry, the number of actual hits is about as high as the xG value, with Müller it is even significantly lower. Choupo-Moting and Tel, on the other hand, scored almost twice as many goals as should have been expected. The xG value of the five-time goalscorer Tel is 2.86.
FC Bayern: Center forward candidates in comparison
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
Julian Nagelsmann’s dealings with Mathys Tel surprised
During his short assignments, Tel not only shone with his final strength. His stable physique, his speed, his technical class and his strengths in dribbling were also noticeable. Although Tel was a regular pick-me-up after his many late substitutions, he has only been allowed to start twice over the course of the season – scoring on both occasions.
At the end of August in the DFB-Pokal against Viktoria Köln, when at the age of 17 years and 126 days he became the youngest goal scorer in a competitive match in Bayern Munich. And shortly afterwards in the Bundesliga against VfB Stuttgart. Despite these promising approaches, Nagelsmann never ordered him into the starting XI again, and the way the coach dealt with the young striker was quite astonishing.
When Tel scored against Werder Bremen weeks later after being substituted on, Nagelsmann rebuked: “Actually, he’s not allowed to shoot there, he has to play to Kingsley Coman. I think if he doesn’t score, then he gets in trouble with his teammates and colleagues on the field .”
Tel was in the starting XI for the only test match of the winter break against RB Salzburg. Again he scored a goal, Nagelsmann even certified him an “outstanding game”. The salary? Only 26 minutes of action in the first three games in the second half of the season, which were disappointing from FC Bayern’s point of view and ended in a draw.
Mathys Tel: That’s how it worked for him under Thomas Tuchel
When Tuchel arrived at the end of March, Tel was absent due to a torn muscle fiber he sustained with the France U19 national team. Before the game against TSG Hoffenheim, the new coach promised the recovered Tel “20 to 30 minutes” – and even brought him for 31.
Tel was one of the few rays of hope for FC Bayern in the final phase, which hit another low point in the 1-1 draw against Hoffenheim. In terms of play, the team showed one of the worst performances in the recent past – especially the starting eleven offensive around striker Gnabry presented itself as frighteningly harmless. Benjamin Pavard scored the only goal. Thus, the last three Munich goals all go to defenders.
After these impressions and also with a view to the alternatives and Tel’s statistics in his short appearances, there is actually a lot to be said for a starting eleven in the second leg against City. It would be a brave but understandable decision by the coach.
In an already almost hopeless situation, Tuchel would perhaps stir up a touch of optimism among the fans who have long been disillusioned with the regular cast – and at the same time send Tel the important sign that he is still trusted in Munich. According to reports, FC Bayern will strengthen with a top-class centre-forward next summer. Opportunities for Tel, who was recently associated with a loan, would then consequently continue to decrease.