Nothing lasts forever, and FC Bayern Munich knows this all to well. It’s no secret that Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are getting on a bit, and everyone can see that Bayern’s ‘Robbery’ duo aren’t what they used to be. The current season may well be their last. So what will the club do when they’re gone? It isn’t easy to find replacements for generational talents, but the Bavarians will have to step up to the plate if they want to continue being regarded amongst Europe’s elite.
Kingsley Coman has already stepped up to the plate this season, having recorded an impressive three goals and five assists in 791 minutes since being given a prominent role under Jupp Heynckes. However Coman is only half the answer. Who else are the Bavarians looking at? These are some reports in the media, hinting at Bayern’s possible targets in the transfer market.
As with all rumors featuring the Bavarians, take these reports with a grain of salt.
#1: Florian Thauvin - Olympique de Marseille
An exciting but somewhat underrated prospect, Florian Thauvin has been setting Ligue 1 alight. With 8 goals and 8 assists so far in this campaign, the young Frenchman averages a goal or assist every 90 minutes of league play. This comes on the back of a strong showing in 2016/17, where Thauvin recorded 15 goals and 9 assists in 2,976 minutes. Here are some of his stats from that season:
That’s a rather robust radar. The kid’s a good dribbler and a threat on goal - qualities that Bayern Munich want from its wingers. He had a really bad spell at Newcastle United a few years ago, but that can easily be explained by Newcastle being managed by Steve McClaren of all people. The last 24-year-old Frenchman Bayern purchased from Marseille turned out to be wildly successful, so maybe lightning could strike twice?
#2: Malcom - Girondins de Bordeaux
Another youngster from Ligue 1, this time it’s a Brazilian. Malcom has had a tremendous season so far, registering 7 goals and 4 assists in 1,349 minutes of league play. According to the report by Mercato365, Bayern sent scouts to Bordeaux’s game versus Dijon to watch the young winger in action. Were they impressed by what they saw? We can’t know for sure, but this radar is impressive:
Malcom - Ligue 1 17/18. The Brazilian forward (not named Neymar) setting the French league alight. Breakout season..... pic.twitter.com/Wg3nC7kJdx— Football Radars (@FussballRadars) November 11, 2017
A strong dribbler and intensely creative, Malcom seems like the perfect person to slot into Bayern’s attack. Having not actually watched a minute of him play, there’s nothing more I can add than that. However, it’s worth noting that Bayern’s recent record with Brazilians is dicey. Breno Borges was a disaster, and Douglas Costa seemed like he’d solved all our problems until a problematic second season under Carlo Ancelotti.
It will be interesting to see where this one goes.
#3: Alessandro Albanese - TSG 1899 Hoffenheim U19
Source: La Capitale (Via FussballTransfers)
Okay, now this one’s as dicey as it gets. Bayern seem to have developed a policy of purchasing from Hoffenheim (Bayern ruin the Bundesliga, blah blah blah), but this rumor seems a bit weird. According to the report in the Belgian paper La Capitale, Albanese’s agent Reculé said that he had interest from other clubs, including Leipzig and Bayern Munich. That’s not much to go on, but the agent also adds that he was Domenico Tedesco’s favorite player (the current Schalke coach used to coach the Hoffenheim U-19s).
This may just be the usual hubris of an agent trying to make a market for his client, but Albanese seems more grounded on the issue:
I'd like to have success, if possible in the Bundesliga. But I'm keeping my feet on the ground.
Well said, young man.
Extra: What’s going on with Serge Gnabry?
According to a report published by sport1.de, Bayern loanee Serge Gnabry never wanted to transfer to Bayern Munich in the first place and wishes to extend his stay at Hoffenheim. Bought in the summer after the Bavarians triggered his release clause, Gnabry has had issues with injures but managed an incredible performance in Hoffenheim’s thrashing of Leipzig.
Such reports were later rubbished by Karl-Heinz Rumenigge, who said that Gnabry would be brought back and integrated in the summer. So that’s that then.