Bayern Munich striker Mathys Tel is one of a group of young players who have seized the moment at the start of the 2023/24 Bundesliga season to make the football world stand up and take notice of their talents.
The young Frenchman has demonstrated beyond any doubt in his six substitute appearances for Bayern this season just how blessed in talent he is. His single touch and walloped drive into the net against Werder Bremen in the opening match of the season set the tone for things to come. The similarly composed and clinical sweeping finish for Bayern’s sixth goal against Bochum on Matchday 5 was his third in just five short appearances, the former Rennes man having also delivered the winner in Mönchengladbach on Matchday 2. His single assist so far, when he danced around Jeremie Frimpong to lay the ball across for Leon Goretzka’s second goal against Bayer Leverkusen, was even more spectacular.
Tel has also shown that talent is all well and good but to reach the very top of the game you need a mentality to match. It would have been easy for the youngster to see the signing of Harry Kane in the summer as an obstacle to him getting playing time in the multi-talented Bayern side. He has pressed on though and shown with every goal that he can play an important role for the champions.
Having also scored two vital goals in each of Bayern’s two UEFA Champions League victories this season, Tel has become the very definition of an impact sub. Boasting the Bundesliga’s best-ever minutes-per-goal ratio, the talent has given Thomas Tuchel a selection headache with more playing time as the season progresses the likely outcome – giving us all even more chances to enjoy Tel in his fearless full flow.
Having cut his teeth on loan at Hannover in Bundesliga 2 last season, the new campaign has well and truly witnessed Beier’s Bundesliga breakthrough. The Germany U21 international netted his first strike of the campaign by bundling in from short range to spark a 3-2 comeback win at Heidenheim on Matchday 2 – and he has stopped just once since. The centre-forward scored in four successive matches as his side racked up four wins on the spin and they sit in the top six of the table. The best of the bunch as far as Beier’s strikes are concerned was his delicious top-corner strike from outside the area in a 3-1 win at Cologne on Matchday 4. He also packs a ferocious pace, with his top speed of 22.02 mph (35.45 kmph) being the seventh fastest of the season so far.
Reitz is another player who has used loan spells to gather experience before battling to establish himself in the Bundesliga. Two years at St. Truiden in Belgium gave the midfield talent a platform to develop. His hard work has won him the faith of Gladbach coach Gerardo Seoane, who gave Reitz two substitute appearances before fielding him for a full 90 minutes of a tight encounter with Bayern Munich in Matchday 3. If he had gone under the radar until then, there was no hiding his talent after Gladbach’s following game. With his side 3-0 down to Darmstadt in the second half, he found an extra gear and ghosted past a defender to cut the ball back for Jordan to knock the ball in and kickstart a remarkable three-goal comeback. He was also the Foals’ best player across his 79-minute outing in defeat to RB Leipzig a week later before lasting the course in his side’s first win of the season on Matchday 6.
Gruda is a youngster who carries high hopes in Mainz, and for very good reason. He captained the U19 to the title last season, firing an impressive 17 goals in 34 appearances. His five appearances in the Bundesliga this term have shown an appetising glimpse of his talent. The Germany U21 international is the very definition of an attacking livewire, with the explosiveness and sheer unpredictability to someday make him too hot to handle. His promise in the youth game was recognised with silver in the prestigious Fritz Walter Medal in August. With his side winless after five rounds of fixtures, he is very much one to watch over the remainder of the campaign as the 05ers seek an about-turn in fortunes.
The Hamburg-born youngster made a splash on loan at Borussia Dortmund II last season, scoring a team-record 13 goals in the German third tier. He has shown already this season that he can not only mix it at the very highest level, but he has the ability to add a new dimension to the Bremen’s attack. Speed and purpose are the hallmarks of Njinmah’s potent wing play. Two goals and one assist in four brief substitute appearances tell their own very compelling story – with the composure of the finishes against Mainz and Cologne also quite remarkable for a Bundesliga newcomer. He is surely on his way to enjoying a significant role at Werder in the weeks and months to come.
Newly promoted Heidenheim have impressed with their fearlessness so far this season, and nobody has embodied that better than Dinkçi. The winger on loan from Bremen has packed the kind of pace vital to Frank Schmidt’s fast-breaking tactical approach. His first strike of the season in the Bundesliga was certainly a very special one – it sparked a second-half comeback for a 2-2 draw away at Dortmund. Two further efforts against his parent club in Heidenheim’s maiden Bundesliga victory on Matchday 4 made Dinkçi’s start to the season even more delightful. His turn inside to fire the hosts 2-0 up in that encounter was a classic illustration of the skill and ambition that put the former Germany U20 international on course to becoming a Bundesliga star.