The club policy of drawing frequently on talent nurtured by the junior team youth section, which saw Holger Badstuber and Thomas Müller join the professional ranks a year ago, has continued with the promotion of Diego Contento to the senior squad. The 19-year-old defender has inked a deal binding him to FCB until 30 June 2011, and will switch from the reserves to Louis van Gaal’s squad with immediate effect.
“I’m delighted that Diego Contento has become the latest player coached and developed by ourselves to be elevated to the first-team squad,” commented Christian Nerlinger. The director of sport also announced imminent talks with David Alaba and Mehmet Ekici with a view to securing the youngsters’ future at Bayern.
Contento, who has been handed the squad number 26, was just five when he first started training with Bayern, and subsequently went on to play at every youth level for the club. In the run-up to Christmas last term, then reserve coach Hermann Gerland promoted the defender from the U-19 youths to the second team, for whom Contento has scored two goals in 25 third division appearances to date
Van Gaal regularly invited the Munich-born player with Italian roots to train with the senior squad in pre-season last summer. He played a full part in the mid-season training camp in Dubai, as did Alaba and Ekici. In 2007, the trio were members of Bayern’s German U-17 championship-winning side (picture). “They have a great chance of making it into the Bayern Munich first team,” commented Van Gaal, the inspiration behind Badstuber and Müller’s stellar ascent to regular status in the Bundesliga.