Together Bayern Munich and Renato Sanches form one of the most puzzling stories in modern football. Bayern bought Sanches in the summer of 2016 before the then-18-year-old went on to help Portugal lift the Euro 2016 trophy and subsequently be voted the European Golden Boy. Since then, however, Sanches’ career has only hit speed bump after speed bump in Munich. It is now time both parties accept that it just was not meant to be. Bayern Munich and Renato Sanches need to part ways.
Time for Bayern Munich and Renato Sanches to Part Ways
When Renato Sanches’ move to Bayern was first announced, it took most of Europe by surprise. The Portuguese youngster had only played less than a season of first-team football with SL Benfica. Though several of Europe’s top clubs had shown interest in the player, the Bavarians’ announcement in early May of the year, and the €35 million pricetag that came with it, caught many off guard.
An injury kept Sanches sidelined for a good chunk of his first season in Munich. Upon his return to fitness, though, he looked merely a shadow of the young man who had dominated in midfield against some of Europe’s top clubs and international sides just months prior. He went on loan to Swansea City the following season, where his development was only derailed even further.
Last season Niko Kovac promised Sanches more playing time, and he came good on his promise on a few occasions in the first half of the season. Despite impressing when given the chance, Sanches still found himself on the bench far more often than he liked.
Many expected him to be offloaded this summer, but he chose to stick around once again after yet another promise for more playing time. Just one game into the 2019/20 Bundesliga season, however, his mind seems to have already changed.
With rumours of LOSC Lille interested in Renato Sanches, the time has come for Bayern Munich to bite the bullet and sell the former Golden Boy.
Part of the reason Renato Sanches has always found it hard to succeed at Bayern is that more experienced midfielders have always been prepared to play ahead of him. Before Arturo Vidal left for Barcelona, he demanded a spot in the starting lineup. Now, Thiago Alcantara is guaranteed a place on the pitch when fit.
Since the return of Jupp Heynckes two seasons ago, Javi Martinez has reemerged as a mainstay in the Bayern midfield. The additions of Corentin Tolisso and Leon Goretzka, both players who operate very similarly to Renato Sanches, have not made things any easier.
Bayern’s managers have always had more experienced options to play ahead of Sanches. With the recent additions of Mickael Cuisance and Philippe Coutinho, Sanches will only be facing more and more competition for a spot in the Bavarian midfield.
Despite Niko Kovac’s insistence otherwise, Sanches surely knows he will only be a rotational player this season. For the sake of his own development, he needs to take his talents elsewhere.
The Best for Both
Renato Sanches is not the only party who would benefit from a permanent transfer to another club. Bayern Munich have plenty to gain from selling the youngster as well.
Even after making a few midfield additions, the Bavarians could still use another holding midfielder. Espanyol’s Marc Roca is reportedly Bayern’s prime target. However, Die Roten are reluctant to pay his €40 million buyout clause. Selling Sanches would both free up a little space in Bayern’s midfield and help fund a move for Roca.
Furthermore, Sanches has been nothing but an off-field distraction since coming to Munich. He was recently fined for refusing to participate in post-match training after not getting the playing time he wanted. Sure, every player should want to play. However, Sanches’ constant complaints about a lack of playing time cannot be good for squad morale.
Bayern Munich and Renato Sanches have never quite got things right. As the 2019 summer transfer window comes to a close, it is time for both parties to call quits on what has been nothing more than an utterly fruitless relationship.