Jann-Fiete Arp chooses to stay at Hamburg | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 20.07.2018
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Jann-Fiete Arp chooses to stay at Hamburg

Despite reported interest from Bayern Munich, one of Germany's most talented young strikers has chosen to stay at his home club, which is now in the second division. His decision is sensible but not terribly surprising.

It isn't very often that a prestigious young German talent opts against a move to Bayern Munich, let alone a player in the second division, but Hamburg's Jann-Fiete Arp has done exactly that.

The 18-year-old striker, who showed flashes of his talent in the Bundesliga last season, has extended his contract by one year until 2020. In the face of reported interest from Bayern Munich over the last few months, it seems Arp was never even tempted.

"To leave this club after relegation was a never an option for me," Arp said in a statement posted on the club's website on Friday. "Especially in such a difficult period, I couldn’t leave HSV, nor would I want to. Instead I want to give something back. For that reason, it was clear to me very quickly that my journey here at HSV is not over yet."

What football clubs deserve is murky water at best, but it is refreshing to see a talented youngster choose playing time and gradual progression rather than getting burned by a premature move to the top.

'Huge statement' for Hamburg

"It's a huge statement for us that a role model like Fiete would stay with us despite the opportunities he had," Hamburg's director of sport, Ralf Becker, also said in the club's statement.

Arp has been playing at Hamburg since he was 10 and there's no denying his decision to stay is important for the club - particularly as they now face life in the second division. However, after just 845 Bundesliga minutes, it is worth remembering that Arp's brilliance has come flashes not floods. Arp is a talented player, but still a very raw one.

His greatest skill though appears his maturity. There are very few talented teenagers that would turn down the chance to play at the top, let alone twice - but Arp is one of them. This time last year Chelsea reportedly made an offer for the then-17-year-old striker, but Arp stayed put. His maturity extends to the pitch too. It would also certainly explain why Arp scored five goals last summer as Germany captain at the U17 World Cup in a campaign that ended in the quaterfinals.

Smart, skillful and keen to play the same way his idol Harry Kane does, Arp has everything he needs to keep getting better. His decision to stay at Hamburg has given him the best possible place to do that - for now.

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