The first of January marks the beginning of the winter transfer window that continues to exhilarate soccer fans across the globe. For smaller clubs, the fear that one of your best players could be swiped by a larger club and throw your season into disarray is hovering over you like a dark cloud. The larger clubs, their eyes longingly staring at silverware, consider the final piece that will put them over the top.
Bayern Munich head into 2016 with one of the strongest and deepest squads ever assembled in world soccer. With the club targeting their second triple in three years, strengthening any and all weaknesses that the team may have is of the highest priority.
If you believe that Bayern should try to strengthen their squad in January, there really is only one part of the field at which to look. Having only allowed 13 goals in all competitions so far, there is no questioning that Bayern have one of the best defenses in the world. However, one thing seems set in trying to derail everything that FCB has worked for this far this season.
Injuries won more victories against Bayern in the first half than any other opponent. David Alaba, Holger Badstuber, Medhi Benatia, Juan Bernat, and Javi Martinez all spent time on the sidelines thanks to various injuries. For Bayern to win the latter knockout round games in the UEFA Champions League, they're going to have to do better than relying on Xabi Alonso and Joshua Kimmich to carry the defensive load.
We put the call out on Twitter to see what the supporters wanted to see Bayern do during the transfer window, and targeting defensive cover was the top priority among all respondents. In those responses, three names were given as potential targets: Aymeric Laporte, Shkodran Mustafi, and Sergio Ramos.
Laporte has long been rumored as a player on Bayern Munich's radar. However, the Athletic Bilbao man signed an extension in the summer through the 2019 season with a €50 million buyout clause. At 21 years of age, he has all the makings of a future world class player and could find himself away to a huge club at some point in the near future.
The case for Mustafi is an interesting one. The 23 year old German made a name for himself at Sampdoria before making the move to Valencia in the summer of 2014. Since joining the La Liga side, Mustafi's play has elevated to the point where he was linked with a move to Bayern this fall.
Would Real Madrid be willing to part with Ramos at this point in their season? It's unlikely that he'd move in the winter window, and he just signed a five year extension during the summer. Now that he's wearing the captain's armband of Real Madrid, the chances of prying him away from Spain at the moment are slim.
Should Bayern make a move this winter? If so, who do you want them to bring to the club?