The summer of 2013 was a big turning point for Bayern as a club. Their first and most important acquisition was not a player, but having manager Pep Guardiola succeed the retiring Jupp Heynckes as the first Spanish manager in club history.
With him, Guardiola brought a new set of ideals and ideas, one that would completely reshape a treble winning squad. He took a finely tuned machine with interchangeable parts and turned it into a versatile conglomerate, a change that resulted in several important squad decisions.
Bayern also tried to help this transformation by giving their new manager young studs who could contribute to the club for many years. In terms of the incumbent players, many stayed and fit into the new system, but a significant amount of departures resulted from the eventual tactical change.
Mario Götze (€37 million, Borussia Dortmund)
Bayern have made a lot of Bundesliga-rocking transfers over the years, but the way Götze moved to Bayern registered the highest on the richter scale. Many saw him as the "False 9" Guardiola would employ, but most of his Bayern career has involved either playing off of Mario Mandžukić or Robert Lewandowski, or filling in for Franck Ribéry or Arjen Robben on the wing. He has showed flashes of pure brilliance and stretches of insufferable frustration, causing many to consider his hefty price tag and lucrative contract a misguided investment.
Jan Kirchhoff (Free Transfer, Mainz 05)
Kirchhoff came to Bayern after they had deemed Guardiola Heynckes's successor, but he is probably better built for a methodical Heynckes team than he is for an ever-evolving Guardiola team. He lasted just six months with Bayern before he joined Schalke 04 on loan, getting a handful of minutes off the bench mostly as a defensive midfielder. He is due to return from his 18-month loan this summer – one riddled with fitness issues and mediocre performances – but it would be a big surprise if he wore Bayern colors again.
Thiago Alcântara do Nascimento (€25 million, Barcelona)
One trait Bayern is known for over the past five season is making opportune purchases rather than shelling out hefty transfer fees for supposed stars. The Thiago transfer embodied that concept perfectly, Bayern matching his buyout clause after Barcelona failed to play him enough to quadruple that clause to €91 million. In figurative terms, Thiago's move is similar to that of Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben; although he has struggled with his fitness during his time in Munich, Thiago has shown he can one day be as impactful as those two.
Mitchell Weiser (Loan Return, Kaiserslautern)
Although it was still early in his development, his loan spell at Kaiserslautern – his six-week spell with Bayern in 2015 was more productive than his six-month loan spell in 2013 – was a glaring negative indicator he may not make it into the first team. Perhaps it was a result of the players around him, but the fact could not rise above his environment did not bode well for his ability to break in with Bayern. With Kaiserslautern he played mostly as a winger, and that is probably the position he is meant to play.
Emre Can (€5 million, Bayer Leverkusen)
At the time, the idea of a transfer with a buyback clause seemed like the perfect way to get Can the playing time he craved and the wages he deserved. Events unfolded differently, Liverpool activating Can's €12 million buyout clause, leaving Bayern to find a settlement with Leverkusen over the sale. A loan probably could have been better, but the details of how the negotiation between Can and Bayern went will always be a mystery. Safe to say, Bayern has done their best to ensure such a situation does not arise again.
Mario Gómez (€15.5 million, Fiorentina)
After the success of Mario Mandžukić and the appointment of Guardiola, it smelled like Gómez was becoming an obsolete piece of striker machinery. Thus, when the club asked him where he wanted to go, he jumped at the chance to join an up-and-coming Fiorentina side. Most of his career since has been watching from the stands, and he scored more goals in his final season at Bayern (19) than he did his first two – and maybe only two – seasons at Fiorentina (14).
Luiz Gustavo Diaz (€16 million, Wolfsburg)
Perhaps a bigger victim of the tactical changes under Guardiola was Luiz Gustavo, a player at a very ripe age with a ceiling of potential within arms reach. He left the club soon after Thiago Alcântara joined it, and became the first piece of Klaus Allofs's construction of the modern-day Wolfsburg. He is a big building block in the ascension of die Wölfe, but in terms of the type of player he is, he may not be the interchangeable, versatile player Guardiola wants his players to be.
Nils Petersen (€5 million, Werder Bremen)
If there was no room for Gómez to stay at the club, there was certainly no room for Petersen to return to Munich. Bayern instead made his loan move to Werder Bremen permanent, but it did not take very long for Franco di Santo to prove to be the better option. He was a 2. Bundesliga player in his early 20s Bayern took a chance on, but in the end was just a replacement-level Bundesliga striker.
Maximilian Riedmüller (Free Transfer, Holstein Kiel)
While he was playing consistently with the Bayern reserves, Riedmüller eventually needed to go to a place that would give him a first-team contract like many reserves eventually try to do. Holstein Kiel was that place, but while he played half of a season in the first team before getting injured, he now is with their reserves trying to maintain his footballing career.
Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (Free Transfer, Zenit St. Petersburg)
As much as he warmed the hearts of Bayern fans, eventually Tymoshchuk got to the age where Bayern were not going to give him another contract. By the end of his Bayern career, he was a squad player that rarely saw the field, so it was right for him to move on to a place where his veteran presence had more value. He therefore signed a two year deal with Zenit St. Petersburg, and now that he is out of contract and out of the national team picture, it may be time for him to hang up his boots.
Neymar was one of the players Guardiola planted his flag on when he was appointed at Bayern, but the club supposedly elected to move for Götze instead. Neymar's transfer to Barcelona is still the big enigma of the 2013 transfer window, especially now that the Spanish courts are involved.
At the complete opposite of the enigma spectrum was Robert Lewandowski, who was out of contract at the end of the 2014 season and whose agents were continually chirping for a move to Bayern. Dortmund ended up keeping their star Polish recruit, even giving him a wage increase of €5 million.
Professional Contracts for Youth Players
The way Julian Green was playing in 2013 – 15 goals and six assists in 18 Regionalliga appearances – Bayern would have been crazy not to give the 18-year-old a professional contract. His career has infamously stagnated since, losing a year of development on an insufferable loan spell with Hamburger SV. He has tried to rekindle his form and promise with the United States, but his preseason with Bayern will determine if the three-year contract Bayern awarded him was worth it.
A year after breaking into the reserves as a sprightly 17-year-old, Højbjerg was quickly putting himself into the first-team picture. With injuries abound, he spent the first year and a half of his professional career on the bench as a team-sheet filler, occasionally getting a look. It was not long after Højbjerg debuted for Denmark, and his patience payed off with a contract extension and a loan move to neighbors Augsburg.
The more seasoned reserve player of the bunch, Schöpf was playing at a high level, one that was allowing Bayern II to fight for promotion. He received just a two-year contract, but that also came with a ticket to Bayern's training trip to Qatar during the Winterpause in January 2014. With Götze, Thiago, and Thomas Müller at his disposal, Schöpf never got a chance with the first team, and finished out the season with the reserves.