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A Look Into Transfer Windows Past: Summer of 2013

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It was a summer of luxury for the treble champions, continuing their quest to add young, world-class talent while allowing playing-time thirsty squad players to look for minutes elsewhere

Alexander Hassenstein

With the first European treble in German club history in the rear-view mirror, it was the first time in decades that Bayern Munich did not need to address major holes in their squad. They were already two deep at most positions, and the squad was young and vibrant to not need rejuvenation.

The main factor going into the 2013 summer transfer window was a new manager, Bayern landing Pep Guardiola as a sideline conductor. With the new appointment came new ideas, and many of the imports and exports reflected a change in philosophy.

Bayern also continued their conceded effort to get younger, plucking three players aged 23 or younger to continue their longterm business plan with the squad. With their current talents and potential, all three transfers were relative bargains, and two had major contributions in Bayern's followup treble run.

Arrivals

Thiago Alcântara do Nascimento (€25 million, FC Barcelona)

If any player were to highlight a transition of systems, Thiago would be a good choice. His transfer came as an opportunity rather than a need, Barcelona unable to give him the playing time that would have quadrupled his buyout clause. Guardiola flagged him as the only player he wanted Bayern to chase, and after an impressive performance with the U21 European Champion Spain, Bayern obliged, signing Thiago to a four-year contract.

Thiago's year may have come in flashes, the 23-year-old collecting ankle and knee injuries, but those flashes were fairly bright. He combined with Toni Kroos and Philipp Lahm to become arguably Europe's best distributing midfield. Where his final position in midfield will be is still undetermined, Guardiola using him in all three central midfield positions. He has added more luxury in a jam packed squad, and has perhaps made previously untouchable players expendable.

Mario Götze (€37 million, Borussia Dortmund)

Bayern was long rumored to be in pursuit of Götze, who was just coming of age at Borussia Dortmund. Registering a few defining blows in the early Klassikers, Bayern finally convinced Götze to move back to Bavaria, activating his €37 million buyout clause. It was a coax unlike any other; Bayern had poached several Bundesliga players in the past, but not from a club they would eventually play in the Champions League final.

Coming off a hamstring injury that wiped out the end of his Dortmund career, Götze was used mostly off the bench in his first season. Guardiola shifted him from flank to flank, trialing him as a center forward on occasion as well. He did not play much in the later stages of the Champions League, something that got under his skin a bit. Having just turned 22 years old, he has the potential to join the pantheon of Bayern greats, as well as leave an imprint on the German national team as well.

Jan Kirchhoff (Free Transfer, 1. FSV Mainz)

Kirchhoff decided in December of 2012 that he was not going to return to Mainz once his contract expired. Both Revier clubs, Dortmund and Schalke, were reportedly trying to secure his signature, but Bayern swooped in and convinced him to sign a three-year deal. Even though Dante had brought much-needed stability to the defense, Bayern were still old at the position and needed support with Holger Badstuber's knee injury.

The experience for Kirchhoff was not one he probably desired. Even when Bayern's defense was thin with injury and suspension, he was not even a choice for the starting XI, Guardiola electing to play Diego Contento instead. Bayern thusly loaned him to Schalke for 18 months, and with a year left on his deal upon his return, he might not play another minute in a Bayern uniform.

Mitchell Weiser (Loan Return, 1. FC Kaiserslautern)

Having transferred to Bayern for the highest fee for a youth player, Weiser was returning from a relatively successful loan spell with Kaiserslautern. He started most of the games he played, Franco Foda deploying him mostly as a right winger, but managed to collect only two goals and one assist in 13 appearances.

There was still not a spot in the first team for Weiser upon his return, even with Lahm moving to midfield. He spent most of his time with the reserves, collecting three goals and seven assists, but made Bayern's team sheet on occasion in the second half of the season. He was also one of five players to go to Bayern's winter training camp in Qatar, and eventually made three appearances with the first team once Bayern sealed the title. Going into the final year of his contract, Weiser will have to make great strides in order for Bayern to consider giving him a new deal.

Transfer Windows Past

Departures

Emre Can (€5 million, Bayer 04 Leverkusen)

It was the type of move that Bayern have undertaken before with several youth players before, but the deal this time was different. Can left on a transfer rather than on loan, with Bayern holding a buy-back clause after two years. With Bayern stacked with talent and more on its way to Munich, he jumped at the opportunity for regular minutes, signing a four-year contract.

Can did not start much at first, but after a strong showing against DSC Arminia Bielefeld in the second round of the DFB Pokal, Sami Hyppia could not just stow him away. He played all over the field, from left back to right midfielder to everywhere in-between. He did have trouble with the yellow card, serving a suspension in both the Bundesliga and the Champions league, but he received nearly 3000 minutes with Leverkusen, something he would never get close to with Bayern.

Mario Gómez (€15.5 million, AS Fiorentina)

He had taken a back seat to Mario Mandzukic once he returned from his  [blank] injury, and he was destined for the bench perhaps more with Guardiola coming to town. His relationship with Bayern seemed to be getting worse, and it was only a matter of time before the Gómez-era came to an end. Guardiola helped him pick out his next club, and he promptly exited Munich for nearly half the fee in which he arrived with.

He managed to play just 15 games in Serie A and the Europa League in his first season with Fiorentina, struggling mightily with knee injuries. In fact, Fiorentina, who appeared on paper to have a Serie A title run in them, struggled to stay fit as a team, and finished in a Europa League spot for the second consecutive year. On the verge of turning 29, Gomez still has some of his prime left to storm the penalty area, but he will have to stay fit in order to do so.

Luiz Gustavo Diaz (€16 million, VfL Wolfsburg)

Luiz Gustavo's departure was not a move that was prevalent months in advance, but instead a by-product of Bayern's purchase of Thiago. Having established a strong place in the Seleçao and a World Cup on the horizon, he requested to move somewhere he could have a midfield spot all to him self. He ultimately chose Wolfsburg, a team that was looking to acquire talent to make a drastic move near the top of the Bundesliga table and where some of his Brazilian mates were already playing.

Signing a five-year contract, Luiz Gustavo immediately broke into the side, blanketing Naldo and Felipe from midfield. He had arguably his best season in Germany, although he was sent off three times, two of which he cost his club points. He maintained his standing in the eyes of Luiz Felipe Scolari, and retained his holding midfield position with the Seleçao playing in his home country.

Nils Petersen (€5 million, SV Werder Bremen)

Having purchased the striker two years prior, Bayern had full intention to sell Petersen once he returned from his loan with Werder Bremen. With questions about Gómez's future and Robert Lewandowski heavily rumored to a move to Bayern, Petersen was to have close to no shot breaking into Bayern's side. He had enjoyed his time at Bremen, scoring 11 goals with Marko Arnautovic and Kevin de Bruyne at his side, and he signed a four-year contract to remain with the Grünweißen.

Petersen struggled to replicate his success without the same players around him, scoring just seven goals last season. He did not get the same opportunities to put the ball on frame as Bremen struggled as a team from open play. With Aaron Hunt departing on a free transfer, Petersen will once again have to take on a pretty big attacking load as Bremen try to rebuild their squad in order to avoid the dreaded drop to the 2. Bundesliga.

Maximilian Riedmüller (Free Transfer, Holsten Kiel)

Riedmüller received a professional contract at a time when Bayern's goalkeeper situation was fresh from the Hans Jörg Butt/Thomas Kraft turmoil. Once Bayern acquired Lukas Raeder, Riedmüller's presence became superfluous, making just two appearances with the Bayern reserves. He signed a 2-year deal with Holstein Kiel of the 3. Bundesliga, where he started every match until he broke his finger and lost his job to Niklas Lakusch.

Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (Free Transfer, Zenit St. Petersburg)

Tymoshchuk's departure was similar to that of Hamit Altintop's before him, a veteran player that Bayern's youth was burying deeper down in the squad. He made only seven starts in all competitions, appearances in the early rounds of the DFB Pokal and the end of the Bundesliga season. He elected to return to Zenit St. Petersburg, the club that sold him to Bayern, signing a two-year deal.

He did not have much more luck breaking into Luciano Spalletti's side, but he did get 29 appearances in all competition. He did not play much for Ukraine either, left out of the side in Ukraine's World Cup qualifying playoffs against France. Considering his age, 35, this year might be the last for Tymoshchuk.

Missed Targets

Whether or not there was legitimate interest will remain a mystery, but Bayern's was supposedly linked with Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior before he transferred to Barcelona (for a fee that is a mystery unto itself). Neymar said in an interview in Brazil that he could see himself in Munich, but Matthias Sammer denied that there was any approach for his services.

With Robert Lewandowski intending to move to Bayern once his contract expired with Borussia Dortmund, speculation arose as to whether he would transfer to Munich a summer early. Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke revealed very early in the transfer window that Lewandowski was going to uphold his contract, and even went so far as to give him a €5 million pay raise. There did not seem to be an official offer from Bayern to bring him in early, so their grand plan in regards to Lewandowski's transfer will remain an enigma.

Professional Contracts for Youth Players

Julian Green

While Bayern was winning trophies, Green was spending his time with Bayern's U19 team, scoring 10 goals and recording 6 assists in Germany's U19 league. He then impressed in Bayern's preseason before getting promoted to the reserves, where he was amongst the Regionalliga Bayern leaders with his 15 goals. He was with the reserves for just five months before Bayern felt obligated to give him a professional contract, a three-year deal that will keep him in Munich until 2017. Former Bayern forward Jürgen Klinsmann has since recruited him to suit up for the United States where he has scored a goal in three substitute appearances.

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg

Højbjerg may have received his professional contract in record time considering he was playing in Denmark just a year and a half prior. Heynckes had already invited him to Bayern's training camp in Qatar in January of 2013, and he was playing regularly with the reserves as a 17-year-old. After he overcame his knee injury at the beginning of the season, he became a strong presence on Guardiola's team sheet given the other injuries in the squad. He remained stoic in the decline of the health of his father, and he earned a spot in Bayern's side for the DFB-Pokal Final as well as a call-up to the Danish national team. He could easily work his way into Bayern's squad next season, even with all the midfielders currently at Guardiola's disposal.

Alessandro Schöpf

His professional contract came at a more advanced age than his reserve comrades such as Green, Højbjerg, and Emre Can, but he nevertheless deserved it. Schöpf scored 11 goals and 8 assist in his first Regionalliga season added 5 more goals and 3 more assists last season before Bayern was convinced to give him a new deal. He was promptly invited to Bayern's Winter training camp in Qatar, and captained Bayern II in their quest to gain promotion. He is a tremendous playmaking talent from the youth system, but it is still on clear whether he will turn into a Kroos or into a Mehmet Ekici.