The 2018-19 season drew to its conclusion in Germany a few weekends ago when Bayern Munich completed their first domestic double since 2016 with an emphatic 3-0 win over RB Leipzig in the DFB Pokal final. However, Niko Kovac’s end of season triumph has been far overshadowed by news of a different variety. Bayern have publicly expressed interest in Manchester City winger Leroy Sane and are hoping to sign the player in the coming weeks. A move for Sane, who would join as part replacement for departing veteran duo Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, would mark the beginning of a new era for the German champions – both on and off the pitch.
Leroy Sane Would Usher in a New Era at Bayern Munich
The End of An Era
The end of the 2018/19 season was not only significant in that it allowed Bayern to win its first double in three years. It also marked the final game for legendary wing duo of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.
Together the two players have helped shape and define an era for the Bavarians over the past decade. An era in which Bayern won the treble, led not only by Ribery but by other club legends like Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller.
Of those six players, only one truly remains a key player for Die Roten. Thomas Muller, though he still plays an important and effective role in the club’s attack, is not quite the marquee man he once was. Club captain Manuel Neuer is still number one between the sticks, but there are some serious questions as to how much longer he can remain a vital cog in the Bavarian machine after a series of serious injuries as well.
The sun is setting on an era of success in Munich, but it could be rising just as quickly on a new one.
Out With The Old, In With The New
It’s hard to task any group of players with reaching the dizzying heights of Bayern’s most recent generation of stars. However, the Bavarians have a strong corps of players in place capable of doing just that.
David Alaba, who has actually played a key role at the club for some time now, is partnered with Thiago Alcantara as two experienced players who are still young enough to be considered part of the team’s future. Joshua Kimmich, Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry, Leon Goretkza, Niklas Sule and Corentin Tolisso make for a formidable group of footballers set to play important roles at the club for years to come.
The additions of Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard ensure Bayern’s defense is and will remain capable for some time. However, Die Roten still lack a marquee offensive signing to truly usher in a new era at the club.
Enter Leroy Sane. The 23-year-old Germany international, apparently unhappy with his situation at Manchester City, has emerged as the prime transfer target for Bayern Munich this summer.
Sane ticks all the boxes of an ideal signing for the German giants. He’s a world-class talent, he’s young, he’s German, he can play in many systems and on either flank, and he’s very marketable. The only potential issue for Bayern is his cost.
A New Era Both on and off The Pitch
As the world’s biggest clubs have thrown money around at the world’s best players as if it didn’t even exist for much of the past decade, Bayern Munich have been defined by a frugality that has set them apart in the transfer market. Their €42 million purchase of Corentin Tolisso in 2017 was not only a record high for the club, it was also just the second time they breached the €40 million mark for a single player.
That changed drastically earlier this year when the club announced that €80 million had been paid to Atletico Madrid for World Cup-winning defender Lucas Hernandez. Bayern bosses Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge realized that if their club was to keep up to pace with Europe’s best, they would have to spend like Europe’s best.
Paying one hefty sum for a defender of Hernandez’s talents isn’t quite enough to cause a paradigm shift in the way a club operates in the transfer market, but two purchases both near €100 million just might be.
If Bayern are to have any hopes of signing Leroy Sane, they must be willing to spend up to the century mark on a player of his talents. They must be willing to fully commit to the ways of the modern transfer market and pay the fee that so many deem him worth.
To sign Leroy Sane would certainly be a clear statement of intent from the club that a new era is coming on the pitch. But it would also show that a new era has dawned in the executive offices. An era less focused on financial frugality and caution in the transfer market, but one defined by a dogged determination to compete and succeed at the highest level of competition for years to come.
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