Former Bayern Munich Prospect In Swiss Switch

Swiss club Grasshoppers have moved to sign former Bayern Munich youngster Oliver Batista Meier on loan from Dynamo Dresden, with a right to buy at the end of the season.

The 22-year-old can play across the midfield and on the wing, and he joins the club as they sit eighth in the Swiss Super League table, eight points from the European spots. It’s a step up of two levels, with Dresden currently playing in the third tier of German football.

“With Oliver Batista Meier, we are signing a young, talented player who will strengthen our attacking midfield,” said Grasshopper sporting director Bernt Haas.“He is particularly characterized by his versatility, as he can be used not only in midfield but also on the right and left wing. I am convinced that we have found the right reinforcement in Oliver.”

Meier has represented his country from Under 15 through to Under 20 level, after coming through the academy at Bayern. He made his professional debut for Bayern Munich II in the 3. Liga on in July 2019, eventually progressing to the first team. He appeared once for the senior side in 2020, as they thrashed Dusseldorf 5-0.

He enjoyed a loan spell in the Eredivisie with Heerenveen, appearing 15 times and scoring once. That wasn’t enough to convince his parent club he deserved more minutes, and in 2022, he moved to Dresden.

His time in the east has not been a huge success – Dresden only finished six in the third tier, and he was loaned out again, this time to SV Verl. His time there has been a success, with ten goals and 11 assists across a 30-game stay. That prompted Dresden to recall him early, with Ralf Becker, sporting director of Dresden, suggesting he was going back to play more games.

“We loaned Oliver to Verl in order to promote his further development with match practice. His recent performances, goals scored, and assists speak to this development. That’s why we consciously decided to return early.”

Instead, he has now moved to Zurich to feature for a team with 27 Swiss titles, but one since 2003.

Site Opinion

This is a young man with a huge amount of potential, and a good spell between now and the end of the season might see him stay in Switzerland.

While at Bayern, he was seen as a hot prospect, but Dresden hasn’t been good for him. The Swiss league is interesting – in terms of attendance, the average is over 13,000, larger than Portugal and Turkey. Grasshoppers Letzigrund stadium holds 26,000, and if he can turn in some sparkling performances, the potential is there to awaken a sleeping giant of Swiss football.

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