News that Wellington Phoenix prodigy Sarpreet Singh signed for Bayern Munich rocked the wider football public, with one of the world's biggest clubs snatching up the Kiwi talent.

"In Sarpreet we've recruited a technically gifted and very talented attacking midfielder," Bayern's renowned academy director, Jochen Sauer, lauded.

"We're very happy he decided to join Bayern."

If you're baffled that the Bavarian giants would ever consider Singh wouldn't join, and perhaps wondering why Munich were so keen on the mercurial Kiwi, there may be an interesting answer.

Especially if you're Australian.

It's not Singh's A-League form (five goals and eight assists last season) that caught the German giant's eye, it was his sensational performances in New Zealand's zany U20 World Cup run this year, where they were only narrowly eliminated in the Round of 16 to heavyweights Colombia on penalties.

It was an incredible performance by the young All Whites, but it's hardly a flash in the pan. Since Australia left Oceania, the Kiwis have punched above their weight in the majority of competitions they've entered. 

Singh isn't alone in using the recent tournament as a springboard to bigger and better things, with New Zealand's ease of passage in qualifying for continental youth, Olympic and Confederations Cup tournaments resulting in a growing number of NZ stars jet-setting overseas.

It's an interesting qualm for Australia, who gifted our smaller rivals across the ditch confederation dominance when we shifted from Oceania to the Asian Football Confederation in 2006.

Australia hasn't qualified for an U20 World Cup since 2011 among a myriad of other disappointing results at youth level in ever-developing Asian competitions. 

The question is: does the benefit Australia's youth receive from playing against a higher standard of competition in Asia outweigh the detriment of failing to qualify for major tournaments.

While there are opportunities for Australians to be noticed by Europe's elite outside of FIFA's showpiece youth competitions, it now becomes an issue of quality.

Even if Bayern Munich had scouted Singh in the A-League, would they have seen his performances in Australia's competition in the same light as those at an U20 World Cup?

Former Onehunga Sports coach and Singh's mentor, Hiroshi Miyazawa, says possibly not.

"Sarpreet's a special player," Miyazawa told "He has been since he was seven or eight-years-old, when he turned up to our environment.

"But if someone asked me if I saw him playing for Bayern Munich one day I would still say no. 

"It's just that Bayern Munich are a very special club. They can sign anyone in the world if they want to, but they chose to sign Sarpreet, which means a lot."

Singh was a little more lost for words.