FC Bayern used to have an embarrassment of riches at striker not that long ago, sporting three — count them, three! — accomplished strikers on the roster, as recently as the 2012-13 season. Mario Mandzukic, Mario Gomez and Claudio Pizarro were all part of the roster of the historic triple-winning squad, and injuries were not an issue.
Fast forward five seasons, and Bayern is down to a single true striker, although, to be fair, he is quite the specimen — Robert Lewandowski. Having a forward of his stature and durability is both a blessing and a curse. He doesn’t miss many games — and doesn’t like to — and is considered one of the best strikers in the world. That’s good for the team, but bad for the sporting director and his staff, who have had a hell of a time trying to find someone good enough to play on a top team like Bayern, but willing to sit on the bench for the vast majority of the games.
Ever since Mario Mandzukic decided to leave at the end of the 2013-14 season, faced with the impending arrival of Lewandowski and extended time on the bench, Bayern have not had a plan B in place — as good as Thomas Müller is, he is not a typical striker — and this is the second time it has come to bite them in their Lederhosen-clad rear ends. Lewy missed the first of last season’s Champions League clashes with Real Madrid and was visibly hampered in the return leg, and we all know the result. On Tuesday night, he will again be unavailable, albeit against a slightly easier opponent.
How will Bayern address the issue? Will they pull the trigger this coming winter break, or cross their fingers and wait until the next summer? Everything seems to point towards something happening in December.
Even before the absence of the Polish striker, Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes was asked about the situation, to which he responded:
I will talk with the big bosses, about whether we will do something in the winter break ... When Thomas Müller is out like now, we are missing options up front.
Club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge seemed to be open to bringing in a new player, when asked at a press conference at the airport before leaving for Glasgow.
I don’t know, that’s the responsibility of the sporting management. If they present us with a sensible name, then we will address it. This talk is probably a few weeks premature, though.
Sporting management? That would be newly minted sporting director, Hasan Salihamidžić, who said with a grin “We’ll look around,” making it look like something is already in the works. He has been tasked with coming up with a reasonable solution, finding that mythical creature, the unicorn back-up striker, if you will, in time for when winter training camp begins. Good luck with all that, Brazzo!
Let us know in the comments, what do you think Bayern should do, and who can they get, that meets all the necessary criteria?