Jann-Fiete Arp has been a FIFA/FM typical first signing for the last couple of years. Young, and 'full of potential'. Just what FI Traders like to lump on. But with an IS below £1.00, why is this investment so under hyped?
The 20 year old's move to Bayern Munich did create a buzz in Germany. Shortly after the move, however, fans only got to see him play for the reserves whilst Lewandowski dominated Europe. To rub salt in the wound, academy graduate Zirkzee has filled the back-up striker role. Arp caught the eye of one of the greatest teams of the century, and he's playing behind the best striker in the world.
Is the wonderkid still all-that? Or did Bayern misjudged his abilities?
Arp has been in the wonderkid circle for a couple of years. He still checks that box having only turned 20 this year. To the vast majority of football fans, he's still considered a young prospect that's far from the finished article.
He was scouted and acquired from Hamburg to join Bayern Munich in summer 2019. Not much has been seen of him since, but it's rare that Bayern get their transfers drastically wrong. That said, Bayern only paid a reported €3m for the then-teenage sensation. It could be that Hamburg were right in his valuation, or it could be that Bayern picked up a steal.
Having seen Alphonso Davies this season, we'd lean towards Bayern getting things right.
What's most interesting is how his potential can be untapped under Bayern's coaching system now. Bayern are an outrageously strong side that seemingly create chances at will. Learning under Lewandowski in his prime is arguably the best possible place for a young striker to be playing. He's even told the media this principle - and he's happy to stay put to learn from the best.
Arp is also capable of playing wider, where Perisic and Coutinho are likely to be leaving a space on the bench. It's possible that his versatility may earn him a few minutes in rotation every now and again.
Both Zirkzee and Arp are young prospects that long to fill the boots of Lewa, but it may take a couple of years for the current hypothetical Ballon D'Or winner to slow down. In the mean team, the two strikers will be competing against one another to earn minutes for the German champions. It's a great atmosphere to drive a prospective striker to a better future.
FI investors have come to an expectancy that post 25 years old is 'old' for a player. Unless they're proven dividend winners, the capital appreciation on offer is minimal, as investors would rather put their money into a player that has many years to develop. Prior to that, young players in good European sides offer the best capital appreciation on the market.
Arp fits that criteria. At 20 years old, he can go for three full investment cycles before he's 30. If you held for as long as you possible could before cashing out, he'd still only be 23.
There are a host of reasons as to why he's so cheap. His lack of playing time is an obvious indicator, but the fact that he IPO'd a long time back also means he missed the 'hype' of his introduction to the market. His price rose, and consequently crashed, as the Bundesliga season came to an end - like many of the German players during the post-covid return.
Bayern Munich are the most prolific side in Europe. They slaughtered Barcelona, embarrassed the Catalan legacy, and beheaded Messi to show Football Fans he is, in fact, human. They're favourites to win UCL this season. They've won the Bundesliga for the past 8 years too. They win games, they score goals. They're a very high PB scoring team. They don't look as though that's going to change anytime soon.
Robert Lewandowski is the striker that's responsible for their dominance. However, the Polish international turns 32 this week. Although he's putting the best numbers of his career up, his investment opportunity on Football Index is dwindling in his twilight years. Muller is the 'second striker' who could shift up tops if necessary. He's turning 31 next month.
The beauty, and risk, in investing in Arp is that we've not seen a glimmer of what's to come. Lewandowski must be replaced at some point, and Joshua Zirkzee played a handful of minutes this season to rotate the squad. If Bayern do not outsource their next striker, or perhaps replace him with a less established presence up tops, it'll be a current wonderkid getting stuck into some game time.
The Bottom Line
Arp arrived at Bayern as a teenager, and has played for their reserves ever since. 0 games in the Bundesliga. No experience at the top. This is the obvious reason that he's not yet rocketed through the squad list on Football Index. It's a huge gamble, like many wonderkids who haven't proven any real experience at the top.
However, Alphonso Davies was far from an experienced player when he made his breakthrough this season. You'd have equally laughed at the idea that he'd be one of the most promising players of this decade if we'd said it 12 months ago. Zirkzee has also snapped up chances and looks another strong prospect that will help Arp along in competition for minutes.
Bayern aren't well known for having a young side in recent years. But the rise of Davies has given hope to the prospects in Munich to try and impress to earn game time.
Arp is young. He's full of potential. He's a competitive bid at around £1.00. There'a a huge ceiling in his investment should he fill first team minutes next season, which is fairly likely should Lewandowski face a spell on the sidelines for any reason.
FI traders who invest early in the 'next big thing' can swing and miss. But if they find a sweet spot, the potential capital appreciation is unrivalled on the market. Arp could be a flop. But he could be a golden investment if opportunities fall his way.