In 2008 a side note on Liverpool FC’s official website probably read something along the lines of ‘academy player let go’…in fact it probably didn’t; the release of home-grown talent Dale Jennings would not have likely made anything like significant news.
As many a player has done in the past, after release by The Reds, Jennings found himself at Birkenhead based Tranmere Rovers. The Superwhites had obviously spotted something in the diminutive forward, and his playing style was compared to Michael Owen. It was little wonder why when you considered the goal he scored against Plymouth that first grabbed the nation’s attention to his obvious talents.
Almost as if based on Owen’s Argentina master-class…
While many clubs chased his signature including reported links with Blackpool and Everton at first Tranmere refused to let him leave Prenton Park, that was until one of the biggest names in world football came knocking on their door.
Bayern Munich paid a fee that could rise to £1.8 million for Jennings and given the prestige of the club Tranmere felt they couldn’t let his opportunity pass. That money has also been reinvested to good effect as Ronnie Moore’s side are currently flying in League One.
Jennings is now playing alongside the brother of Sebastian Schweinsteiger under the tutelage of the legendary Mehmet Scholl for FC Bayern’s reserve side Bayern Munich II. In Germany he has been converted into an out and out winger in the style of the 4-3-3 system of football that runs through the entire DNA of the club, from the Ribery-Robben dynamic all the way down to their under-9s.
Times have been tough since his move last summer, he spent a large part of the season on the treatment table in the last campaign after suffering a serious tear to his ankle ligaments. Not to mention his struggles to grasp the German language. It would appear he is limited to a simple ‘Wie gehts?’ and ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ every now and again. Being one of only seven foreigners in the group for Kleine Bayern can also not be helpful. When you consider that five of those players are Austrian and another a German born American the language barrier must be at least a small stumbling block.
He was once touted as the next Michael Owen but now he looks to Ribery, Robben and Muller for inspiration as a winger and what better inspiration then those three names; three highly regarded and diverse wide-men.
Things have recently looked up for Jennings, after over a year in Bavaria he finally scored his first goal in a Bayern shirt during an international break friendly win against SpVgg Unterhaching and if he can remain injury free he might finally push on into the first team for FCB.
What are your hopes for Dale Jennings’ career in Germany?
image: © Steenbergs