Jupp Heynckes hasn’t commented too much on Bayern Munich’s transfer policies since he’s taken charge of the club again, but the German mastermind insisted that the club should be making better efforts to try and acquire some of Germany’s top young talents when speaking with Welt (via ESPN). He also stressed the importance of pouncing on high-quality prospects when the opportunities arise, even if there’s a considerable price tag.
Specifically, Heyckes referenced RB Leipzig starlet Timo Werner, who’s gotten off to a flying start in his first two seasons with Die Roten Bullen after working his way through the ranks at VfB Stuttgart for close to three years. In the summer of 2016, Leipzig paid Stuttgart a mere €10 million to acquire his services in what’s proven to be one of the bargains of the century in the Bundesliga. Heynckes feels as if Werner was an opportunity that Bayern should have pulled the trigger on:
A club like Bayern should have signed a Timo Werner from Stuttgart years ago. Werner could have learned a great deal here. The best players must play — it does not matter whether they are old or young. Do you think that a Franck Ribery can always expect to play? No. When he is not on form, he will not play. As I said, you have to look after good, young players in a timely fashion. You have to challenge, speak, lead and motivate them.
Werner’s career path bears a striking resemblance to that of Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich, who spent nearly six years of his youth career at Stuttgart, before joining Leipzig in the summer of 2013 on loan. Bayern bought him from Stuttgart after his loan spell with Leipzig in the winter of 2015 for roughly €7 million and in his first two and a half seasons, he’s become a regular starter for the club at right back with the retirement of Philipp Lahm. Kimmich has been one of Bayern’s most consistent performers in the 2017/2018 campaign thus far and is a prime example of how important it is to place an emphasis on developing young players.
Bayern showed massive initiative with their youth development efforts with the opening of the FC Bayern Campus back in the beginning of August with aim to get their academy players on a more closely integrated track to the senior squad. Heynckes knows just how important this is:
I am also of the opinion that Bayern must develop its own talented players with that special something in order to compete at the highest level. You have to remain patient, though, because it is a process that lasts many years.
In addition to the emphasis on young talent, Heynckes did point out that Bayern should be less reluctant to go after high-caliber transfer prospects who have hefty price tags. Echoing what Robert Lewandowski had said last week on the necessity of going after top class players, Heynckes said that the club should be more open to the idea if the right opportunities arise:
As a club, Bayern must be ready to sign an expensive top player. I do think Bayern has a plan and Uli Hoeness, [CEO] Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and [sporting director] Hasan Salihamidzic know what they want. However, the implementation is not always easy. For example, you need highly talented and competent scouts to assess players -- especially young ones.
Bayern broke the bank to sign Corentin Tolisso from Lyon for a fee of €41.5 million over the summer, setting a Bundesliga transfer fee record, though the Frenchman’s price tag is pale in comparison to some of the fees other top European clubs paid to sign their top prospects.