Bayern Munich are really good at doing business. Don’t believe me? Well, the club just purchased, or rather acquired, a German international midfielder - Leon Goretzka - for free, that too while he was wanted by Liverpool and Barcelona. Last summer, when the likes of Jean Micheal Seri and Steven N’Zonzi were being quoted at €40m, Bayern got Sebastian Rudy for ... *gasp* ... free!
Let’s not even mention Robert Lewandowski (oops, I totally just mentioned him).
So what’s the cheapest possible Bayern Munich XI that the club could realistically field? How good (or bad) is it? How does it stack up against the best around Europe? Read on to find out...
Let’s start with the attack
Hmm, who to choose? As far leading the attack is concerned, there’s not much competition. Since we’re going for a bargain, Sandro Wagner will have to—wait a second. Bayern doesn’t need to play a second-string striker for the “cheap” XI. That’s because, big Bobby Lewandowski, the Polish Hitman, the Star Striker, the Eastern Terror (you get my point) was purchased for a total fee of zilch. Nothing, nada. Zero euros spent on one of the best strikers, if not the best, in the world.
The transfer coup of the century is joined by our very own Thomas Müller - an academy player and hence considered free for our purposes. Müller slots in at the right wing so another summer Bayern transfer can slot in on the left: Serge Gnabry, purchased from Werder Bremen for a paltry €8m, currently plies his trade at Hoffenheim, but he should be back with the Bavarians eventually.
Total cost of this offense: €8m
What about the all-important midfield?
Bayern has a ton of midfielders, and they must all be very expensive, right? Wrong. While Bayern has its fair share of expensive midfielders, the club has no urgent need to field them for this bargain XI. Therefore, instead of club-record transfers Javi Martinez and Corentin Tolisso, we turn to the new boy Sebastian Rudy, who also joined the club on a humble free transfer in the summer of 2017.
Joining Rudy would be the club’s newest star signing: Leon Goretzka. Yes, technically he isn’t a Bayern player yet, but he will be, so like Gnabry he’s on this list—another delightful Bosman. The player plays as a box-to-box mid for Schalke, and he could slot into that role at Bayern. However for the purposes of this XI, I’m putting him at attacking midfield, where he can do the most damage.
Rounding out the midfield is the comparatively expensive Thiago Alcantara. The former Barcelona man arrived in Munich under Pep Guardiola’s reign, for a price of around 25m euros. However, Bayern can consider the price to be an absolute steal. Since 2016, Thiago has blossomed into an absolute gem of a footballer, becoming one of the best midfielders in the world. He slots in next to Rudy, with the two forming a formidable dual pivot.
Total cost of the midfield: €25m.
And finally, the defense
Well first of all, Mats Hummels is out. He was purchased from Borussia Dortmund for a reported fee of €35m, a fortune compared to others on this list. He could’ve been free had Jürgen Klinsmann spotted his talent, but no. Instead we have Niklas Süle and Jerome Boateng in central defense.
Süle was purchased from Hoffenheim for a fee of €20m, despite the fact that Chelsea were after him. Boateng was a Manchester City flop who was bought in 2011 for a fee of €13.5m. Since then he’s won a treble and a world cup, and has come into his own as one of the best ball-playing center-backs in the game.
On the flanks we have David Alaba and Rafinha. Alaba was purchased as a youth player from Austria for just €150k, while Rafinha transferred from Genoa for €5.5m. Germany’s golden boy Joshua Kimmich just misses out on this list. His transfer fee was €8m, €2.5m more than Rafinha’s.
Total cost of the defense: €39.15m
As for our goalkeeper, we have to compromise and start Ulreich, who was bought for €3.5m. Then again, considering his performances, it might not be a compromise after all.
The final XI
Total cost: €75.65m—in other words, about 0.34 of what PSG paid for Neymar Jr
Of course, there are other options. If you really wanted to go as cheap as possible, you could start Kimmich in midfield instead of Thiago - saving €17m. However, if we start playing players out of position, we start going down a rabbit hole that might never end.
Therefore, this is perhaps the cheapest “balanced” XI Bayern Munich can field. For comparison, it's just slightly cheaper than the value of SC Freiburg's roster, €76.1m. What do you think about it? Comment below.
Could this Bayern Munich bargain XI win the Bundesliga?
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