FC Bayern’s defense has become more stable compared to last year, but a look at the near future raises some questions. Investments of several million in recent years have not yet borne fruit as hoped.
80 million euros for Lucas Hernández and 35 million euros for Benjamin Pavard in 2019, 42 million euros for Dayot Upamecano last summer: In recent years, FC Bayern has invested more than 150 million euros in the upheaval of the defensive department.
Veterans Mats Hummels and Jérome Boateng and especially David Alaba, who had shaped the defense for years, turned their backs on Munich.
The catch is that the big investments have not paid off as hoped so far. FC Bayern are still looking for a defensive formation that can shape the next few years.
Existing staff appear to be at least partially able to do this. The developments underway in the Bavarian capital are all the more surprising.
With Niklas Süle, you missed the best duel of the regulars (64.54% duels won). According to the “Bild” podcast “Bayern Insider”, Munich were simply unwilling to increase the salary by eight million euros, which is manageable by Bayern standards. From the club’s perspective, it’s at least unfortunate that Süle – on a free transfer – is joining long-time rivals Borussia Dortmund.
Basket after basket for FC Bayern
To make matters worse, the search for a replacement has resulted in basket after basket: the so-called dream player Andreas Christensen prefers to move from Chelsea to FC Barcelona, DFB star Antonio Rüdiger is also turning his back on the Blues and should sign. at Real Madrid and in the Bundesliga The high-flyer Nico Schlotterbeck would have hesitated too much at Bayern Munich. Despite a supposedly better offer, the new national player eventually joined BVB, who were probably more enthusiastic.
And FC Bayern? Apparently, the decision at Säbener Straße was made without further ado to forgo a new external signing for central defense and instead order Benjamin Pavard in the center of defence. A role that the Frenchman has already played successfully at VfB Stuttgart and which should suit him better personally than the right-back position he usually occupies in Munich. A risky bet, no doubt.
Pavard’s change in position is compensated by Noussair Mazraoui: According to the media, the fact that the Moroccan comes from Ajax Amsterdam on a free transfer is fixed, but the central defense is not exactly rich in manpower.
Extra time forces FC Bayern to exercise restraint
If we now also include the fact that Upamecano and Hernández have not yet fully convinced, the latter also has a bulging injury file in his luggage and minds would be divided on the talent of Tanguy Nianzou, the previous reluctance of the Munichese. team is all the more surprising.
The reason, however, is probably as profane as it is revealing: the corona pandemic hasn’t really done FC Bayern’s vaunted fixed term deposit account any good.
A lot of money was and is needed for extra time with superstars Thomas Müller, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Kingsley Coman and ongoing talks with Serge Gnabry, Robert Lewandowski or Manuel Neuer and shoe-pinches not only defensively.
With Ryan Gravenberch, a young midfielder is about to settle in Munich. He would be owed about 25 to 35 million euros. There are also rumors about the attacking department. However, significant revenue is currently not in sight.
Development a warning sign for FC Bayern
However, since the Munich team’s self-image includes competing year after year for the Champions League title with competition powdered by billionaire investors, a healthy dose of creativity is in order. And who knows, maybe Pavard’s transfer to the center of defense will turn out to be a stroke of genius.
However, development is always a warning sign. For comparison: at the start of FC Bayern’s league series in the 2012/13 season, they rarely conceded more than 20 goals and in 2015/16 they even conceded a record 17 goals. Since 2018, the value has regularly exceeded 30. The 44 goals conceded the previous year was the low point.