Mathys Tel had his Bayern Munich physical on Monday and signed his contract before the German giants announced his arrival on Tuesday. The 17-year-old signed a contract until 2027, with Stade Rennais paying an initial cost of about $20 million. It was expected to climb by at least $8.5 million in add-ons.
Mathys Tel has played fewer than 100 minutes of senior soccer. He has yet to start a Ligue 1 match and has yet to score or even assist professionally. However, Bayern Munich has moved quickly to sign the remarkable talent from the Parisian district of Sarcelles. It has also produced Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez and AS Monaco’s Wissam Ben Yedder.
“Mathys Tel is a promising young player. He can play several positions and is both speedy and powerful. He has the potential to become one of the finest strikers. He is not a match for Lewy, which is usual for someone his age. However, we will be overjoyed if he scores 10 goals this season. I think he can one-day average 40 goals each season.” stated Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann last weekend.
So, what makes Bayern so certain that Mathys Tel is the ideal long-term successor for the departing Robert Lewandowski? Sadio Mane is available for the interim period. He is now 30. So the Bavarians are relying almost entirely on Tel’s accomplishments at the youth level to demonstrate that he can be a long-term sub to the Pole. Given Ligue 1’s track record for talent development and Rennes’ track record, this may not be as difficult as it appears.
Eduardo Camavinga, the Breton club’s most recent youth academy prodigy, just won the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid at 19. Tel, a Clairefontaine graduate, made his professional debut against Stade Brestois 29 last August, becoming the club’s youngest player in senior history, breaking Camavinga’s under-17 record.
His efforts in the under-17 European Championships in Israel this summer piqued the interest of Europe’s elite teams. Tel was the captain and best scorer for coach Jose Alcocer’s team. He scored three goals to lead Les Bleuets to victory in the finals over the Netherlands, who started the tournament by defeating the French in Group B.
Mathys Tel played every position in Rennes’ academy, from attack to out wide and even as far back as a wing-back. He excelled in an attack by combining his flexibility, speed, and strength with his remarkable skill. When questioned about Tel’s impending resignation, Bruno Genesio was sure but couldn’t disguise his regret last weekend: “I don’t need to remark…” stated the Frenchman.
“I am writing this evening to notify you that I will be leaving Rennes,” the footballer said on social media on Sunday. “It has given me great joy and been a tremendous honour to wear and represent this shirt since I was 12. I’d want to express my deep gratitude to SRFC for teaching me so much and helping me grow in so many ways, for which I shall be eternally thankful. I’d like to thank everyone who helped make this happen, including the staff, coaches, players, teammates, and the Pinault family. Thank you to the Red and Black fans, to whom I extend my warmest wishes.”
Mathys Tel signed his first professional deal until 2024, after his senior debut against Brest, having played for Paris FC, ASJ Aubervilliers, and Montrouge FC 92’s. However, before this Bayern deal, Mathys Tel seemed most likely to receive a Ligue 1 or Ligue 2 loan in 2022-23.
Watching how the German champions see him and how ready Nagelsmann believes he is will be fascinating. Alphonso Davies and Jamal Musiala have demonstrated that it’s possible to come into Bayern’s plans before age 20. Tanguy Kouassi’s problems since joining Paris Saint-Germain, on the other hand, should serve as a warning story for Mathys Tel.
Given Mane’s arrival, the contract extensions of Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry, and the existence of Leroy Sane, Kingsley Coman, and even Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, offensive options at Allianz Arena remain plenty. Mane, Coman, and Choupo-Moting are French speakers who should assist Tel in integrating with Dayot Upamecano, Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard, and Bouna Sarr. They are all part of a Francophone component.
Finally, Bayern seldom fails to identify talent, and Tel’s potential has been evident in France for some time. But, as Nagelsmann recognised before establishing a rough 10-goal target, expecting an inexperienced youngster to fill up much of the space left by Lewandowski would be ridiculous. Rennes, for their part, cannot genuinely miss something they never had at the senior level. Genesio’s side may utilise its finances to strengthen ahead of this season’s Champions League challenge.