After the announcement last week that Arjen Robben will not join FC Bayern Munich on their promotional tour of Asia due to a minor injury he picked up playing tennis over the summer — what’s that, we should wrap the Dutchman up in bubble wrap and store him in packing peanuts any time he’s not on the field? — the club revealed that another star player will miss the trip.
When the team boards the plane on July 16th, Jerome Boateng will stay in Munich to work on his fitness, following the serious thigh muscle injury he picked up last season. The club appears to be taking a very cautious approach with their top players, as the big center back will have Robben and Manuel Neuer to keep him company at home.
For most clubs, this would jeopardize the entire intent of the trip, which is to advance the brand in an emerging market with your star players. But, even without these injured/recovering players, and the Confederation Cup participants, who are still on vacation, Bayern can still roll out a star-studded lineup, with names like Thomas Müller, Franck Ribery, Robert Lewandowski, and, of course, the newly acquired James Rodriguez, among many others, so Asian fans need not worry.
As far as Boateng, while it seems like a prudent course of action in order to not risk further injury, it does raise the question of whether he will face a significant disadvantage in what is sure to be a hotly contested competition for the middle of Bayern’s defense. Mats Hummels and Javier Martinez will benefit from receiving team training and playing time in China and Singapore, and, as a result, could very well end up as the starting duo when the season commences in August, while Jerome and newcomer Niklas Süle will be watching from the bench.