Insight provided into French starlet Michael Olise as Bayern Munich look to complete key summer deal


Bundesliga juggernaut Bayern Munich continue their summer recruitment drive under new head coach Vincent Kompany after Sky Sports confirmed the club has agreed to a €60m (£50m) deal for highly-touted Crystal Palace winger Michael Olise.

The 22-year-old London-born French youth international has quickly become one of the brightest young talents in the top flight of English football after a short, yet scintillating, 2023-24 Premier League campaign at Selhurst Park.

Despite featuring just 19 times for the Eagles, Olise hit a career-best 10 goals while helping the South London side to finish tenth under new manager and former Eintracht Frankfurt headmaster Oliver Glasner.

Olise, who is currently set to star for France at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris under the tutelage of Thierry Henry alongside the likes of Alexandre Lacazette, club-mate Jean-Philippe Mateta, and mercurial Olympique Lyonnais forward Rayan Cherki, has become the third attacking player in the door this summer for Bayern as they look to revamp their forward line for the future.

Though Kompany comes into his new position with Serge Gnabry (28), Leroy Sané (28), and Kingsley Coman (28) already on the books at Säbener Straße, the Bavarian giants have already made permanent moves for Granada CF’s Bryan Zaragoza (22) as well as 18-year-old Australian attacking prodigy Nestory Irankunda from Adelaide United.

But when it comes to Olise, Bayern is getting a player who is ready to make a massive impact from the first time of asking when the 2024/25 Bundesliga campaign gets underway. It is through that lens that I sat down to chat with Dan Cook from Crystal Palace blog & podcast HLTCO to discuss what Bayern supporters can expect from their newest addition.

Michael Olise is set to swap London for Munich this summer with Bayern swooping in for the French youngster after negotiations with Chelsea broke down. To begin, for those Bundesliga and Bayern fans that may not be familiar, how can you sum up who he is on the pitch?

“He’s an incredible, incredible talent. I don’t think it’s outlandish or over the top to say he is the best attacking talent in terms of ceiling, potential, mentality, and technical ability that I have ever seen in Crystal Palace colors. We have had the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Eberi Eze, and Yannick Bolasie light up the Premier League, but I have never seen anyone quite as good as Michael Olise and he will not look out of place at all at Bayern Munich. I am not sure if he will dislodge the current first-choice options instantly, but quite clearly, Vincent Kompany has seen him up close, knows what he is about, and I think [Jamal] Musiala, [Harry] Kane, and Olise will be the starting front three once he settles after the Olympics.”

“Even though he is predominately left-footed, he plays on the right-hand side and has done so for nearly his entire tenure at Palace. He almost has this Arjen Robben-type ability to create a yard of space and use that left foot to devastating effect. He has this incredible ability to look after the ball, and even though every single covering full-back knows exactly what he wants to do in shifting the ball to his left foot, he manages to do it time and time again. Even if you deny him that opportunity and push him down toward the byline, he can still embarrass you there as well”

Olise’s £50m sale constitutes the biggest sale in Palace history, eclipsing that of Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s move to Manchester United in the summer of 2019. For you, is he worth that fee despite his recent injury record, and how do you see him adapting to life at one of the biggest clubs on the planet?

“In terms of the fee, I think it’s one of those where if it was an open market deal, we would not be selling him for so little. His first contract also contained a release clause (reportedly 35m) which Chelsea nearly activated last summer but Steve Parrish and his staff did exceptionally well to keep him from flying the next and lock him into an extension which included his current release clause that Bayern have activated. He (Olise) backs himself at the highest level and in an open market, we could have gotten much more but without the clause, it’s unlikely he would have extended.”

Should Bayern fans expect an elongated adaptation period upon his arrival in Bavaria or do you feel he will adjust to expectations at the club quickly regardless of the competition for places he likely will have?

“In terms of an adaptation period and his readiness to be in a squad gunning for titles, for cups, and for Champions League glory, I have no doubts or question marks at all. You know, Olise’s mentality is a hot potato topic, particularly from those outside the Palace bubble at times because he can come across as cold, calculated, and like he is trying to forge an ice-cold image. But I just feel it is the way that he is. For example, he will score a goal in a game, and unless it’s a winner, he doesn’t tend to celebrate. He actually celebrates his assists more than his goals. It’s as though he feels like winning is the requirement and there is no point celebrating a goal if you don’t win, and in that sense, he should hit the ground running when it comes to the Bayern mentality quite quickly.”

Chelsea, Manchester United, Newcastle United, and Arsenal were all linked with interest in Olise of late, and many with a Premier League bias will feel his move to Bayern will be a step down from a competitive level despite the Rekordmeister being a top-five club in Europe. Just how far can he go from here?

“The decision to sun Manchester United, Chelsea, Newcastle, whoever it may be in the Premier League, for Bayern Munich, is very in keeping with Michael Olise’s career to date. He’s been very careful with the decisions he has made; the calculated nature of that second contract he signed with Palace showed he knew the club was the best place to continue his development.”

“This is a bold move in going to a club who are expected to win the Bundesliga year-on-year despite last season being an aberration due to Bayer Leverkusen and Xabi Alonso with their unbeaten campaign. But every season Olise is on Bayern’s books, that [winning the league] will be the bare minimum expectation but I think he will really thrive in that.”

“I am not suggesting he will view Bayern as a stepping stone, because nobody does, but he will fully back himself to become a key component of that XI and garnering interest from the biggest club in the world in Real Madrid within the next two-to-three years. I don’t think that is outlandish. I think it is possible. But at the same time, he is still incredibly young and someone that can still hone his game further.”

“With all of that in mind, Bayern have a player that can establish himself as one of the greats in the modern era. You talk about Ballon d’Or and all sorts of accolades you could have as a footballer, and though it may come off that I have a red and blue bias, but I feel he is the best creative player we have ever had at Palace and I do think in a few years time, that move to Bayern will catapult him into everyone’s consciousness.”

GGFN | Andrew Thompson

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