Bayern Munich: the Bundesliga’s unrivalled champions. Winners of Germany’s most prestigious prize six years in a row. Previously led by managerial greats Jupp Heynckes, Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti, Munich have been dominant for years. Now led by new manager Niko Kovač, this current group will once again look to retain the Bundesliga title. With no legitimate rival emerging in recent seasons, Bayern’s title defence appears as routine as in previous seasons. However, with a cluster of contenders searching for a title fight, Kovač and his team will need to be at their best once again.
Bayern Munich Should Sign a Winger This Winter
Setting the standard in recent seasons, Bayern Munich’s strong squad has led to the Bundesliga becoming an uncompetitive league. The likes of Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig have made things tricky on a couple of occasions, but the story always has the same ending. The key to this success is their spine. Every team needs a good spine and Bayern Munich take things to another level. They rely on the likes of Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels, Thiago, Thomas Müller, and Robert Lewandowski. With this group starting regularly, the rest of the Bundesliga simply can’t keep up. A spine is one thing, but over the years Bayern have made great use of their wingers. However, father time remains undefeated, with Bayern’s wide men not getting any younger.
Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry are Bayern Munich legends. One of the best duos in Bundesliga history, Robben and Ribéry have provided Bayern fans with many great seasons and some memorable moments. From Ribéry’s 2012/13 season, a year which saw him named on the three-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or. Robben, on the other hand, played a key role in Bayern’s 2013 Champions League win. The Dutchman led Munich to an emotional win, with Bayern losing in the final the year before. Key to the team’s success over the years, these are two players entering the twilight of their careers. Long-term replacements are necessary, and the winter window is an ideal time to add to an already talented squad.
Time to Spend
It’s difficult to replace club legends unless you’re Bayern Munich. Replacing Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso with relative ease, it will be interesting to see how Bayern deal with this situation. As a team that doesn’t necessarily like to spend big, Bayern could fool many into believing they aren’t actually a big team. Well at least in terms of spending; the trophies speak for themselves. This next part is true. You may not believe it and honestly, nobody could blame you. Since 2010, Bayern Munich has spent less than Valencia, Napoli, Tottenham and even Everton. In that same time, they’ve won six Bundesliga titles and made it to two Champions League finals.
Sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić recently said: “We have a very good squad. Signing players is kind of a sign of weakness because it shows that you don’t trust the group of players that you have right now.” Now this way of thinking is fair, with Bayern already possessing a strong squad, but the fans want more. Hasan, it’s time to spend.
Currently, Bayern have two young wingers capable of stepping in and playing in the Bundesliga. This should be good but with Kingsley Coman out for the foreseeable future and summer addition Serge Gnabry struggling for game time, Bayern are left with their ageing duo. Now, Robben and Ribéry are more than capable of playing any given weekend. However, you don’t want two aging players playing every game. Eventually, their bodies will give in; this is the case with most, if not all, 34-35-year-olds. Coman is considered a great option going forward but this isn’t the case. The 22-year-old is an injury prone player who, unfortunately, can’t be relied upon. This, along with an inexperienced Gnabry, leaves Bayern lacking depth in the wide areas.
If Gnabry fails to make an impact, Bayern should look to add another wide man. In order to keep their treble hopes alive, Munich need another option to bolster their Champions League squad. Now, Bayern will need a talented wide man who will be eligible for European competition. This rules out the likes of Hirving Lozano and Anthony Martial. Two names Salihamidžić should look to sign are Marseille winger Florian Thauvin, who is a similar player to Robben, and Bayer Leverkusen’s electric winger Leon Bailey. Both would make excellent additions, but are Bayern willing to spend the money? The simple answer is no, Salihamidžić isn’t changing anytime soon and neither is Bayern’s Bundesliga dominance.