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Dembélé, Camavinga... and Mathys Tel

Mathys Tel is the latest pearl to have emerged from Rennes’ prolific youth academy. At 17 years old, he has joined Bayern for 20 million euros plus 8M in bonuses.

Eduardo Camavinga durante un entrenamiento con el Stade Rennes.

Rennes youth academy is, without any doubt, one of the most prolific of its kind in European football. The northern French club continues to nurture and develop great talents from their youth system and the proof of that is in their latest transaction. Mathys Tel, a 17-year-old striker who has barely played seven games in Ligue 1, became a new Bayern player in a deal worth 20 million euros, which could rise to 28.5 million if all the bonuses are met.

Tel’s transfer is the sixth biggest in Rennes’ history, and if the bonuses are met, it will surpass that of Willem Geubbels (Monaco paid 25 million for his services) as the most expensive youth player in the history of French football. The 17-year-old forward, who was part of the France side that were crowned champions at this summer’s European Under-17 Championship, was an absolute priority for Nagelsmann to reinforce the forward following Lewandowski’s departure to Barça. Despite his lack of experience, Bayern have placed full confidence in him and the player will be an important part of the current Bundesliga champion’s plans.

The first big sale from the Rennes youth academy in recent years was Ousmane Dembélé. After a brilliant breakthrough in Ligue 1, the current Barcelona player signed for 35 million euros (bonus including that were fulfilled later) in 2016 by Borussia Dortmund. At that time, the winger was the most important sale in Rennes’ history, equalled this summer by the 35 million that West Ham paid for Moroccan center-back, Nayef Aguerd.

Like Dembélé, the next to come out of Rennes’s academy was Eduardo Camavinga. In 2021, just one year after the end of his contract, the Franco-Angolan was transferred to Real Madrid for 31 million euros. In his first season at Chamartín, the young midfielder was a key player in winning the Champions League and was important in La Liga, gradually settling into Ancelotti’s plans. The next great pearl tipped to make his mark at Rennes is Désiré Doué, a 17-year-old midfielder who has already left flashes of quality in the club’s youth academy.


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