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Portland Timbers
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2:00 AM UTC Jun 26, 2017
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Bayern Munich's Christian Fruchtl has huge potential - Matthias Sammer

Bayern Munich youth goalkeeper Christian Fruchtl has "incredible" attributes, according to sporting executive Matthias Sammer.

Fruchtl, 15, was a surprise inclusion in the 29-man group that travelled to Qatar for a winter training camp this week.

The Germany under-16 international dominated the headlines after the announcement of the squad, which also included United States attacker Julian Green, and Sammer hopes he can follow in the footsteps of Bayern No. 1 Manuel Neuer.

"His attributes are incredible," Sammer told reporters. "When you've got the very best in the world [Neuer] at your side, we all know that this role model will always have an effect.

"Indeed, one thought is that he can look at Manu closely."

Sammer also said 6-foot-2 tall Fruchtl, who turns 16 later this month, has a remarkable physique for his age.

Sammer said that the decision to include youngsters in the squad was "a signal" that "in spite of the competition in our squad, we try to spot talent and create opportunities for them to show it."

In recent years, players leaving the Bayern academy have found it difficult to break into the squad. Right-back Mitchell Weiser moved on to Hertha Berlin in the summer, and was this week joined by Sinan Kurt, who signed a three-and-a-half-year contract that reportedly includes a €10 million buy-back option in 2018. 

Denmark international Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is currently on loan at Schalke, and midfielder Gianluca Gaudino is set to leave Bayern and join Swiss outfit St Gallen on loan.

Sammer, though, said it was important to "distinguish" between those who have failed to make the grade and those who have just not yet broken through.

"A player like David Alaba, during his loan to Hoffenheim, would have been deemed as having failed at Bayern too," he said. "The young players are in a transition phase in which it's incredibly hard to get directly into the squad, harder than ever.

"They have to make the next step. That's not always that easy at FC Bayern."


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