By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Bayern sign Malik Tillman to professional contract

FC Bayern München confirmed a professional contract for youth squad members Malik Tillman and Christian Früchtl on Thursday evening. 

Nineteen-year-old attacker Tillman is one of two Americans recently promoted to the senior practice squad by head-coach Julian Nagelsmann. 
Just over two weeks after he was given a spot in first-team Bayern training, Malik Tillman is now a Bayern professional. The FCB confirmed senior level contracts for both the younger Tillman brother and goalkeeper Christian Früchtl on Thursday evening.

"I would like thank FC Bayern for the trust they've placed in me and I am delighted be a part of the professional team," the teenage Fürth native said in a statement, "To establish myself at the highest level. I will give everything for that."

"Malik is a very good playmaking striker," head-coach Julian Nagelsmann remarked at the midday press conference, "He has a gift for recognizing spaces and scoring goals."

The young attacker, who has made Nagelsmann's bench squad twice this season, will actually not be eligible for the Friday match against his hometown club Fürth. This is due to licensing regulations associated with his new contract. The Bayern trainer further noted that he planned to take it slow with a gifted, yet unrefined talent.

"Malik is kind of a quiet and introverted guy," Nagelsmann continued, "Sometimes he needs to come out of his shell a bit and be more of a "bruiser". He is a promising talent."

Malik's older brother Timothy, currently back with hometown club Fürth, also spent time on the Bayern campus. The Tillman brothers are--like USMNT veterans Timothy Chandler, John Anthony Brooks, Fabian Johnson, Julian Green and Jermaine Jones--sons of African American servicemen who were stationed in the Bundesrepublik.

Both have represented Germany at youth level, but remain eligible to play for the United States.

Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic praised both Tillman and Früchtl (whom Bayern will need to backup Manuel Neuer after Sven Ulreich was ruled out for 6-8 weeks) as "excellent examples of our youth development work."

Tillman signs with the German giants through 2024.

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