With just weeks remaining in the Germany transfer window, there’s a sense around the Bundesliga that the champions haven’t quite recruited as well as many predicted. With Serge Gnabry returning from a loan spell at Hoffenheim and Leon Goretzka joining on a free transfer from Schalke, there’s a strong argument suggesting that Bayern have had a poor summer.
Granted, Bayern Munich once again dominated the league after they finished 21 points ahead of closest challengers Schalke but teams around them have strengthened immensely, while Niko Kovac’s side perhaps have not.
Under new management, Borussia Dortmund lost Andriy Yarmolenko, Sokratis, Gonzalo Castro and Andre Schurrle who all had mediocre campaigns while they’ve added to their squad with the arrivals of Abdou Diallo, Thomas Delaney and Axel Witsel, all of whom will strengthen areas that had come under criticism last season. Should Favre & Co. add a striker to their squad in the closing weeks, then there’s no reason as to why they can’t challenge Bayern Munich this season.
Schalke have strengthened their squad even with the departures of Max Meyer and Goretzka, both on free transfers. Salif Sane arrives in Gelsenkirchen from Hannover to shore up Schalke’s impressive defence while they’ve added Mark Uth from Hoffenheim on a free transfer, who scored 14 Bundesliga goals last season. Both players add further experience to Schalke’s squad while the duo will likely slot straight into Domenico Tedesco’s starting XI. Add to that the signings of Suat Serdar, Omar Mascarell and Hamza Mendyl, it’s fair to suggest that the Royal Blues have had an impressive summer window.
Elsewhere, while Bayer Leverkusen have added Germany right-back Mitchell Weiser and 18-year-old Brazilian Paulinho to the squad for a combined £26 million, Heiko Herrlich and sporting director Rudi Völler have done well to keep Julian Brandt, Kai Havertz and Leon Bailey at the club, all of whom had been linked with a move to the Premier League.
Lastly, with both Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig also boasting a relatively impressive summer transfer window while keeping hold of their key players, it’s fair to suggest that Bayern Munich may just have a bit of competition this season as their look to retain their Bundesliga crown.
Given Bayern Munich’s stature, they’re not afraid of spending €40 million on a player and with Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge suggesting that they spend €100m on a player should the right one become available, it comes as a surprise to some fans that they haven’t splashed out as many had hoped.
Even more so given that Franck Ribery nor Arjen Robben are getting any younger. There’s no denying the duo have been Bayern’s most consistent players over the past 5-10 seasons but there comes a point in life when it’s time to move on. With Champions League football and a good cup run on the agenda, it’s highly unlikely they’ll be able to play on a Saturday and then again midweek, which provides Kovac with a problem.
They appear to be short in the wide areas and it comes as no surprise that fans were disappointed when Bayern Munich sold Douglas Costa to Juventus. The Brazil international is just the wide player that the Allianz Arena outfit should be looking to keep, with Kinglsey Coman and Gnabry used intermittently. Of course, the deal for Alphonso Davies to join the Bundesliga champions in January is a smart move, but just 18 when he joins Bayern, he’s another player who isn’t yet in his prime which could prove costly in vital fixtures.
Add to that the departure of Arturo Vidal and potential transfer of Sebastian Rudy to either RB Leipzig or Schalke, Bayern Munich also look short in midfield, with James Rodriguez, Thiago, Javi Martinez and Corentin Tolisso the only viable options, with Renato Sanches yet to prove his worth.
Reports also suggest there’s also a deal in place for World Cup winner Benjamin Pavard to join Bayern Munich in 2019, but they really should be looking to make that move this window, given the poor form of Jerome Boateng while the Frenchman can also provide cover for Joshua Kimmich at right-back.
And thus, it comes as no surprise that Bayern Munich fans feel rather disappointed with how this transfer window has gone. The signing of Leon Goretzka was a statement of intent but failure to act on that could prove costly for the reigning champions with their rivals strengthening in key areas.
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