Malik Tillman, a loanee from Bayern Munich, is already a Rangers fan favorite.


Tillman, Malik. Keep the name in mind. With the way he has been playing lately, I’m sure Rangers supporters will for a while. Given how well he is playing right now, the Nuremberg native may perhaps be selected for the USA’s World Cup team in 2022.

Bayern Munich has a top-notch campus, and its youth program has recently produced some standout players. In fact, this has been going for for a long, but as it will always be extremely tough to make it into Bayern’s elite first squad, the majority of campus players who go over the level of Bayern II move to other clubs on loan or on a permanent basis.

FC Bayern Mnchen - Training Session
Tillman regularly got to train with the Bayern first team, but was always on the outside looking in when it came to a first team spot.

Enter Rangers, the Scottish Premiership’s most successful club ever. This team has many different striker and flank options, but an adaptable attacking midfielder was lacking. Bayern and the Scottish club agreed on a one-year loan with an option to buy because Malik Tillman didn’t spend much time with the first squad but clearly had too much talent to be playing in the Regionalliga.

It’s interesting to note that Mark Fotheringham, a former Celtics and Freiburg player, highly suggested Malik Tillman to the Celtics Euro scout, according to the Scottish Sun . Yes, the same same Celtic team that has long been Rangers’ fiercest adversary. They were advised to sign him impulsively because he is a fantastic player. However, the Rangers came out on top in the end, and their competitors are definitely cursing now.

Tillman is a phenomenally versatile offensive weapon who can also play as a pure no. 9 and as an inverted winger. He excels as an attacking midfielder or false nine. His intimidating build and height of 62 make him a threat in the box, and his aerial skills appear to be getting better with each passing match. He was a perfect match for the Rangers, breaking into the starting eleven right away and assuming the role of playmaker in the right half-space.

Rangers v Union Saint-Gilloise - UEFA Champions League - Third Qualifying Round - Second Leg - Ibrox Stadium
Tillman celebrates after scoring the winning goal for the Rangers against Union Saint-Gilloise in the UCL play-in.

Today, after only four club outings, he has already scored twice and provided two assists. The first goal against Union Saint-Gilloise in the UCL play-in competition gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead and placed them on the road to securing a group stage spot. The second goal came against St. Johnston just three days later in the league opener. Tillman wasn’t used in Rangers’ most recent game against Hibernian.

Tillmans is also proven to be a superb ball-provider for teammates Ryan Kent and Tom Lawrence, who are both forwards. Both the public and his teammates adore him. Many were taken aback by his game’s maturity and how rapidly he could switch from nimbleness to toughness. Tillman has transformed into a player who, when necessary, can dribble his way out of tight spots and also bulldoze through defenders even when well-marked.

Given that the loan agreement includes a buyout clause, the player’s performances might convince Rangers to sign him on a long-term basis. Bayern would obviously find this disappointing, and it’s possible that the negotiations have gone much past the anticipated agreed upon price. But the fact that the Bayern front office was able to obtain a buy-back clause, which now seems to be such a crucial choice, is a relief. Who knows if he develops into the top attacker he has the potential to be this season. He might be the Bavarians’ best option for a false nine or striker in the starting XI.

FC Bayern Mnchen v VfB Stuttgart - Bundesliga
Bayerns campus has been booming lately.

Every Bayern player doesn’t have to be the next Jamal Musiala or Paul Wanner. Some people may opt to take the slightly longer approach of borrowing money elsewhere. In the end, Bayern Munich will surely come out on top if more campus talent can mature in this way and perhaps rejoin the team in the future.


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