Name: Thomas Müller
Club: FC Bayern München
Debut: 15/08/08 v Hamburger SV (Bundesliga)
Position: attacking midfielder
Date of birth: 13/09/89
Given the firepower at Bayern's disposal, Müller was not supposed to get much of a look-in this season. A series of inspired performances and five goals in his first nine games of the campaign, however, consigned some of his more illustrious team-mates to the bench and evoked memories of his namesake Gerd.
Müller II, though, is a different type of player, an attacking midfielder rather than an out-and-out striker. Whereas Gerd Müller never ventured further from the oppositon goal than he had to, Thomas covers plenty of ground, attacking from deep or off the wing. He does, however, share Der Bomber's eye for goal, having struck 13 times already this term. Most importantly, according to Gerd, "even when he plays badly he scores".
Müller broke into the Bayern first team towards the end of last season and only started his first top-flight match on 29 August. It has been a busy 12 months for the youngster, who got married in November and won his first Germany cap against Argentina on 3 March. Excitingly for Bayern fans, Müller is not the only fresh face making his way under coach Louis van Gaal's tutelage, with David Alaba (17), Diego Contento (19), and Holger Badstuber (21) also staking impressive claims for first-team places this season.
FC Bayern München 7-1 Sporting Clube de Portugal
10/03/09 UEFA Champions League
Müller wasted no time making an impression on the European stage after coming on 18 minutes from time in the deciding leg of last season's first knockout round tie against Sporting. In just his second game for the club he set up a goal for Mark van Bommel within two minutes and capped a fine performance on the right wing with one of his own, his first for Bayern, in added time.
"It's a great feeling to know the coach is counting on me and I'm trying to justify that."
"I am now recognised in the street, but that's not a problem. Everything has changed for the good."
"I am not afraid of anyone. Fear is the wrong word. As long as I show what I'm capable of I will always be considered for the starting XI."
"The good thing about him is even when he plays badly, he still scores."
Former Bayern and Germany legend Gerd Müller
"The boy is a sensation. He can play up front and now he has shown his intelligence in midfield as well."
Bayern president Franz Beckenbauer after watching Müller score twice against Maccabi Haifa FC in the UEFA Champions League on 15 September
"He is having a very good season for such a young player and nobody expected that. At Bayern there are a lot of skilful players and week in, week out, he is always there, always in the starting XI. He plays well and looks untroubled; he moves a lot and stays well on his feet for a young player. He scores goals and he's very fast. I think he is a very talented player. He is still young; he should keep his feet on the ground and work hard, but he does impress me and he will make it far."
Germany captain Michael Ballack talking to UEFA.com in March
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