With all of the money being thrown around these days in the transfer market, it's always great to take a step back and look at great deals that get done by clubs. Everyone knows that Bayern Munich are no slouches when it comes to finding great deals in the transfer market.
However, today we're going beyond "great deals" in the transfer market. When you look at the Bayern squad, you can build an entire squad of players that have come up through the youth ranks at the club and players that were brought to the club on free transfers.
Let's get to it and build our squad.
Starting in goal for the Bavarians is none other than the venerable Tom Starke. The goalkeeper joined FC Bayern on a free transfer from Hoffenheim last summer and has deputized well for Manuel Neuer. Stark is under contract for another season.
The four starting defenders all spent at least some time in the Bayern Munich youth teams. At right back, we have club captain Philipp Lahm. While Lahm has shown his flexibility this season in playing anywhere on the field, his ability at right back is unparalleled in world football at this time. The Austrian David Alaba occupies the opposite flank. Alaba's game has grown by leaps and bounds since he made his debut a few seasons ago, and he's established himself as one of the best left backs, if not the best left back, in the world. Anchoring the defense at the two centerback positions would be Holger Badstuber and Diego Contento. Get well soon, Holger. Obviously, Contento's natural position isn't centerback, but he showed earlier this season that can at least fill in that position during a match if needed.
I was stumped on what kind of midfield formation to choose for these players but finally made a decision. Out wide we have everyone's favorite Thomas Müller doing all of the amazing things that he always does, and on the opposite side, we're throwing newcomer Julian Green. Green has impressed in his time with the team and is an exciting prospect for the future. In the middle, we have an amalgamation of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, and Pierre Hojbjerg. You know what? That's a very impressive midfield. In fact, that midfield could probably challenge for a trophy.
For our starting forward, we're going to go with the veteran Claudio Pizarro. In his second stint with Bayern, the Bundesliga's all-time leading foreign goalscorer has been relegated to the bench as a reserve, but he's never failed to fill in admirably when called upon to provide. Plus, everyone remembers when he scored a thousand (okay, four) goals in one match against Hamburg.
Our backup goalkeeper Lukas Raeder diligently plies his trade in the Regionalliga with FC Bayern II along with midfielder Alessandro Schöpf. We've yet to see Patrick Weihrauch feature in a first team match for the club, but he's shown well with FC Bayern II. While they currently are not on the team, Jan Kirchhoff (on loan to Schalke, free transfer from Mainz) and Robert Lewandowski (joining Bayern in the summer on a free transfer from Borussia Dortmund), they deserve a place on the bench in this "squad" showing Bayern's navigation of the transfer market.
When you step back and look at the outstanding business that Bayern has done over the years in properly building a youth academy that turns out world class players in addition to snagging a lot of quality players in the transfer market on free transfers, you can see the hard work that has gone into building FC Bayern into the world's greatest football club.
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