The German women’s national team has a rich history of being amongst the best national teams in the world and raising generation after generation of talented players. The current crop of young German talent is no exception to that. Klara Bühl, Lena Lattwein, Jule Brand and Lena Oberdorf are all players aged 21 years or younger that are part of the newest generation of up and coming talent from Germany and have already broken into the senior national team. Also part of this crop of players and maybe the biggest star out of them all is Bayern Munich midfielder, Sydney Lohmann. At the mere age of 21, Lohmann has already racked up 70 appearances for the Bavarian giants and showcased her talent on the biggest stages in women’s football. This proves that Lohmann has a very bright future ahead with the potential to evolve even more and become a world-beater.
Her way up
Born in the Olympic year of 2000, her parents were inspired by the Olympic Games and the city where they got married. They, therefore, decided that the perfect name for their daughter was “Sydney”.
Sydney Lohmann was born on June the 19th 2000 in Bad Honnef, Germany. Her family moved to Pürgen in south Germany, pretty early in her childhood, where Sydney grew up and got in touch with football. A youth coach from a local club in her hometown spotted her playing with her father on the streets and invited her to a football training session. She has always been a sports fan and played a bunch of different sports growing up. However, she established that football was her number one sport over tennis, and as we all know, this decision led to a great outcome.
In an interview she did for the announcement of her latest contract extension with FC Bayern, she revealed that it has always been her dream from a very young age, to play for a big club and she has always assumed she would earn her money by playing football one day. The 21-year-old didn’t really consider any other option than becoming a professional footballer when she grew up.
After gaining her first experience on a football pitch and turning out that she seemed to be a quite talented player, Syd joined the football club “SC Fürstenfeldbruck '' at the age of 10. She only ever played in a boys’ team at this club and admitted later that playing with the boys until she reached the age of 16, was such a great bonus for her footballing development.
At the same time, Sydney gained her first international experience through her call-ups for the German youth teams and made her first appearance for the under-15 team of Germany in 2014. She stayed with Fürstenfeldbruck until 2016 before taking the step to Germany’s biggest football club, FC Bayern Munich. Joining Bayern at the beginning of the 16/17 season, Lohmann was given the opportunity to play for two teams of the club at the same time. For one thing, she gained caps for the under-17 team in the under-17-Bundesliga and to another, she played for the reserve team in the second division of the Frauen Bundesliga. The life-long Bayern fan became an integral part of the first team in the winter of 2017 and made her debut in the Frauen Bundesliga in a game against Wolfsburg on the 19th of March 2017. She even started that game and played the full 90 minutes. Unfortunately, the team lost 0-2 to Wolfsburg that day, but Sydney herself still considers it as one of her best games individually so far. The 5th of November 2017, marks the day Syd scored her first goal for Bayern in the Frauen Bundesliga against MSV Duisburg. She scored the 2-1 goal after 29 minutes, with the game ending in a 3-1 victory for Bayern.
Together with the likes of Lena Oberdorf, Klara Bühl and Giulia Gwinn, the midfielder won the under-17-Euros in 2016 and 2017. She made her debut for the first team in 2018 during a friendly game against Italy, when she was subbed on for Lina Magull in the 71st minute. In 2020, Sydney scored her first senior goal for Germany in an Euros-qualification game against Montenegro.
Bayern fans were delighted as the club announced her early contract extension in November 2020. Actually, Sydney’s contract would’ve still been running until 2022, but the club was able to extend the contract with her until 2024 and both, manager Jens Scheuer and sporting manager Bianca Rech, confessed that Sydney is and will be a certain key player for the team in the future.
Why she is one to watch
The 2020/21 season was Lohmann’s best season in terms of goal contributions. Throughout the campaign, she registered 14 goals and 6 assists in 26 games across all competitions - pretty impressive numbers for a midfielder. However, Lohmann has a lot more to her game than just goal contributions. She’s a pretty all-rounded midfielder that can both attack and defend, and she has stated in an interview herself that she prefers playing in the no. 8 role where she can act like a box-to-box midfielder type that has the freedom to attack, but also act a little deeper in midfield. The thing about Lohmann is that she isn’t a specific type of midfielder. She is sort of a hybrid between a “mezzala” and a false attacking midfielder that can play anywhere in midfield. A mezzala is an Italian term meaning “half-winger” and is a type of midfielder that plays on either side of a holding midfielder. The mezzala is usually a quick and hard-working attack-minded midfielder with great skills and noted offensive qualities. This type of midfielder can also often be seen drifting out wide and making overlapping attacking runs, but also participate in the defensive aspect of the game. Lohmann’s playing style is very close to that of a mezzala, but she doesn’t necessarily drift out wide to make overlapping runs too often as it isn’t needed with how far up Bayern’s full-backs on both sides are. Bayern’s wingers also provide width so it’s not necessary for Lohmann to do so as well, although she is perfectly capable of doing it should it be required.
In addition, she also possesses qualities of a false attacking midfielder, like good vision, technique, movement, passing ability, striking ability from range and creativity. A false attacking midfielder should also be a tactically intelligent player which Lohmann is. She’s a very smart footballer that plays very maturely for her age. Her decision-making on the ball is great as she often chooses the sensible solution with the ball without it hampering her creativity. Lohmann is also a very technical player despite her quite physical frame (173 cm). This involves good dribbling skills, neat ball control and a fantastic drive with the ball at her feet. When running with the ball, Lohmann combines her technical skills with her physicality which allows her to hold off defenders and protect the ball when driving forward and keeping control of the ball. Another impressive attribute she possesses is her smartness and intelligence, especially offensively. Lohmann is very often seen making smart runs forward into space and getting into great positions to receive the ball. Her smartness and great runs allow her to get into very promising goal scoring positions as well, proven by the 14 goals she scored from midfield last season. She is a threat in the air due to her height and her finishing is also quite solid. Lohmann is capable of scoring all types of goals, whether it being a header, a tap-in or long-range shots. All these attacking attributes make her such a great threat offensively and a brilliant goal-scoring midfielder.
Lohmann’s attacking qualities are undeniable and she obviously thrives going forward. However, that doesn’t mean she shies away from doing the hard yards defensively. Syd works really hard off the ball, especially in the press, and can often be seen breaking out of Bayern’s midfield structure to start a high press or join her teammates in pressing from the front. Her intelligence and football IQ doesn’t just help her offensively in finding and moving into space, making the correct runs or picking the sensible pass - she also uses it to understand which space to cover defensively to make it difficult for her opponents to exploit Bayern’s defensive structure. However, Lohmann isn’t the type of midfielder to make a lot of tackles or interceptions. She will make them if given the opportunity, but she primarily defends by reading the game and presses the opponents. This makes her a capable defender, but it’s her attacking qualities and offensive game that makes her stand out as a player. She’s also quite special in that she’s sort of a combination of a mezzala and a false attacking midfielder. Combining two different midfield roles as Lohmann does is unique, but the ability to do so and excelling at it is a big reason why she’s such an exciting player and definitely one to watch for the future.