Mathys Tel continues his rise to prominence at Bayern Munich
At the tender age of just 18, Tel already looks like a key player in this Bayern Munich side due to his explosiveness off the bench.
With an electric start to this season, Tel is starting to prove to the footballing world that he was worth the money Bayern Munich spent on him a year ago.
Who is Mathys Tel?
Like so many of France’s top footballers, Tel was born in a suburb of Paris and made his name with various regional sides in the French capital.
With his speed, agility and game awareness always likely to catch the eye, he got his big move in the summer of 2020 when he joined Ligue 1 side Rennes on a free transfer.
Although Tel was clearly a huge talent, he had to prove himself in the youth sides before he was rewarded any first team action. It soon became clear, however, that the youngster needed to take the step up to senior football quicker than other players as he was a dominant force in the under-18s setup.
With Tel providing quality in abundance in first team training, Rennes head coach Bruno Genesio decided to throw him in at the deep end and reward those training performances with a league debut versus Brest in August 2021 at 16-years-old.
This made him Rennes’ youngest ever debutant and led to him signing his first professional contract (until 2024) with the club a couple of days later.
However, this contract would not last long as perennial Bundesliga winners Bayern Munich came calling in the summer of 2022 with a bid of €20 million, which Rennes simply could not turn down for a 17-year-old.
In his first season he went largely unnoticed to fans of the European game but still put up an impressive five league goals, with most of his appearances coming off the bench.
The story so far this season
With top quality forwards such as Harry Kane, Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry and Kingley Coman all ahead of him in the pecking order, you could be forgiven for thinking he would struggle for gametime.
It has, in fact, had the opposite effect as Thomas Tuchel can now call on Tel against sides who are tiring towards the back end of matches. He has become a super sub in every sense of the phrase.
So far, this tactic has worked wonders as he has three goals and one assist in just 79 minutes of Bundesliga action. Although this scoring rate is unsustainable it proves just how calm and composed Tel is for his age.
Add to this the eventual match winner against Manchester United in the opening game week of the UEFA Champions League, and Tel suddenly looks like a pivotal part of this Bayern Munich side.
When analysing his goals, Tel has the knack for finding space in dangerous areas and then striking past the goalkeeper with ease.
This can be seen in his goals against Werder Bremen, Borussia Monchengladbach and Bochum – where he manoeuvres into dangerous positions before calmly slotting home.
The Frenchman is undoubtedly a winger by trade, due to his pace and trickery, but can also line up as a centre forward due to his strength and poachers ability. This aspect of his game will increase by importance as the season goes on, as injuries may take there toll on the team.
Although Bayern Munich are always the favourites for the Bundeliga, the capture of England captain Harry Kane now means that they are also one of the big hitters in the Champions League.
This increased squad expectation may make it difficult for the Bavarians to simply ease past opponents like years gone by, but with Tel in their armory they will seemingly always have a chance this season.