Why Bayern Munich need to avoid myopia in the transfer market
There cannot be a better way to end the title race. Bayern Munich's final game of the Bundesliga season ended with goals for both Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery in their last home match and the 7th consecutive Meisterschale. Bayern fans certainly cannot ask for anything more. However, there are other reasons why this match needs to be talked about in particular.
Three of Bayern's five goals were from attacks initiated on the flanks. Frankfurt played a 3-man defence and both Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry exploited the spaces behind Filip Kostic and Danny da Costa. They both have shown they are ready and capable to step in for Ribery and Robben.
This should pose questions regarding the prioritizing of the pursuit of only Timo Werner and Nicolas Pepe. Yes, they both are great players and can play in multiple positions, but with Coman, Gnabry and Alphonso Davies, Bayern's flanks are secured for the long term. Coman is injury prone and Lewandowski is not on the good side of the 30s. Werner can fill for them both so his pursuit still makes sense. But Bayern might want to look beyond that.
Bayern have a sturdy defence, they conceded the second least goals in the Bundesliga behind RB Leipzig. The incoming Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard are only going to bolster the back. Kovac's Bayern plays out from behind. A ball playing CB and patient midfield are important to the system.
Almost all of Bayern's attacks are initiated through Mats Hummels and Thiago Alcantara. Bayern Munich do not have direct and natural replacements for both of them. Hernandez or Pavard are hardly as capable as Hummels when it comes to ball distribution. Unless they are looking to really develop the two into what Hummels is now, Bayern may soon find themselves in the need to sign a world class ball playing centre-back.
Another concern is Thomas Muller. He will be only 30 this September but has already shown signs of decline. He was good against Frankfurt and set up the first goal. His goalscoring and assist numbers, however, have gone down over the years. He is shaky on the ball at times and not as decisive as he once used to be.
He still has a good 3-4 seasons under his belly but he cannot be relied on for 40 games every season. With James' imminent departure, an understudy for the Raumdeuter is necessary. Neither Renato Sanches nor Leon Goretzka fit the profile with both being box-to-box midfielders. Filling for this position, however, will be difficult.
It goes without saying that Die Roten are currently in a transition phase. Therefore, the front office must broaden their horizon when it comes to looking at possible transfer targets.Published 20 May 2019, 23:28 IST