Dale Jennings’ move from Tranmere Rovers to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich in 2011 was an odd one to say the least.
Tranmere Rovers fans may remember Dale Jennings to be quite the player despite him only spending a season at the club before the European giants swooped in and stole him away.
A gifted winger with all the on-field traits you would expect from a pending star, Jennings whipped around League One with relative ease, bagging six goals and supplying five assists in his first and only season with Tranmere.
His efforts were enough to earn the attention of former Liverpool man and Champions League winner Dietmar Hamann personally recommending the Jennings to Bayern’s technical director, Christian Nerlinger.
Youngsters dream of “making it” on the European stage, don’t we all? But very rarely do they ever get to realise that dream in the same way as 18-year-old Dale Jennings, who made the jump from the lowly third tier of English football to Bayern Munch in 2011 for a reported £1.8million.
It was unprecedented territory, a Tranmere Rovers player moving straight to the Bundesliga – sort of the equivalent of one of us jumping from Sunday League into the Championship. But here was Jennings doing just that.
Unfortunately for the midfielder, it was a case of too much too soon and the move never really worked out. He failed to integrate into his new surroundings, and with the language barrier proving to be a huge problem, became increasingly isolated from his teammates and the coaching staff.
Such was his incapacity to live independently, it is said that one cupboard in his Munich apartment was used purely to store Pot Noodles. We have all been there, Dale, do not worry.
You may ask yourself, what happens in this kind of situation? What becomes of a player who essentially peaked too early in their career? Who will likely never reach the highs of Bayern Munich ever again? Well, the only way is down – clearly.
Jennings moved from Bayern to Barnsley in 2013, before being loaned out to and purchased by MK Dons.
After being released by the Dons in 2016, it took Jennings two years to find his feet again, settling for ninth-tier side Runcorn Town in 2018 in the hope that he can restart his career.
Tranmere fans, what are some standout memories of Jennings? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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