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Sunday, November 27, 2022

FC Bayern Munich: Julian Nagelsmann and the many talents

Back on track in the Bundesliga, undamaged in the round of 16 in the Champions League – everything is looking rosy again at FC Bayern. Still, not everyone is happy. A circumstance that coach Julian Nagelsmann in particular has to blame.

After the disappointing 2021/22 season, the tenor of the FCB bosses around sports director Hasan Salihamidzic and CEO Oliver Kahn was clear: don’t panic. This was also reflected in the adapted transfer philosophy: Bayern largely stayed out of the competition from the English and Spanish top clubs and Paris Saint-Germain and instead looked one shelf lower at the younger players with potential for improvement.

“It’s a creative way, but you’re not the classic training club and supplier for other clubs, you’ll also be able to win everything with this staff,” said Julian Nagelsmann at the beginning of the year, explaining the paradigm shift at the German record champions had already indicated at the time.

They would “rather get this very good 21 or 22-year-old who, due to his greed and quality, is able to win everything with Bayern” and, if necessary, hand him over to the richer competition after a few years. “In the end it always has to be a good mix,” he added.

Only in Sadio Mané did Bayern sign a player who has proven his skills at the highest level for years – and the 30-year-old was still relatively cheap due to his contract situation. In return, FCB decided against a one-to-one replacement for Robert Lewandowski.

Most of the money went to central defender Matthijs de Ligt. Because of his three years at Juventus Turin, he is no longer considered a talent, but he is not yet a “complete” central defender. Especially since things didn’t always go smoothly for the 23-year-old anyway. It is similar with right-back Noussair Mazraoui (24). With Ryan Gravenberch (20) and Mathys Tel, two unpolished diamonds also came to the Isar.

FC Bayern: Tel and Gravenberch no real alternatives yet

In addition to Mané, however, only de Ligt, who also benefited from Lucas Hernández’s injury, is one of the newcomers to the extended group of regulars. Tel and Gravenberch in particular are still a long way from this. There is another talent in the squad that belongs to this ranking in Josip Stanisic (22). Paul Wanner (16) is still changing between the U19, U23 and the professionals. Of the youngsters, only Jamal Musiala (19) – Alphonso Davies has been established for some time – managed to be a regular starter this season.

So far, Nagelsmann has hardly fulfilled the requirements of the Bayern bosses associated with the new transfer policy to promote new and existing talents and develop them as a serious alternative in the long term – and possibly sell them profitably.

The 35-year-old had already failed in part last season when he tried in vain to set up Tanguy Nianzou as an alternative to Dayot Upamecano and he ran away after a lack of playing time in the summer. Chris Richards and Joshua Zirkzee also fall into this pattern from the recent past. With Arijon Ibrahimovic (16), the next promising FCB talent is said to be thinking of saying goodbye.

FC Bayern: Transfers in the summer of 2022

player Transfer fee (excluding bonuses) releasing club
Matthijs de Ligt 67 million euros Juventus turn
Sadio Mane 32 million euros Liverpool FC
Mathy’s phone 20 million euros Stade Rennes
Ryan Gravenberch 18.5 million euros Ajax Amsterdam
Noussair Mazraoui free transfer Ajax Amsterdam


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