ESPN recently ranked Bayern Munich’s best and worst transfers over the last decade. Unsurprisingly, Robert Lewandowski was ranked at the top, since Bayern Munich landed one of the world’s best striker for free, and from their biggest rival, Borussia Dortmund. Breakout star Serge Gnabry was also ranked as one of Bayern’s top transfers. Eight million euros for 22 goals already is pretty great business in the transfer market.
Some players left off Bayern’s best transfers list were Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, and Niklas Süle. These players were great buys for their price. They also are prime examples of Bayern’s strategy of finding value in the transfer market by buying some of the Bundesliga’s best players with release clauses, free transfers, and other savvy business moves.
Others making the list for best transfers include Manuel Neuer, who moved from Schalke, and Arjen Robben signed from Real Madrid. Bayern has certainly tried to recreate the magic of the signing of Arjen Robben. Robben was a struggling winger — mostly because of injuries — who showed great promise with Real Madrid and Chelsea. It seems like Bayern has tried to mimic that same transfer strategy with their loans of James Rodriguez and Philippe Coutinho.
Both Rodriguez and Coutinho were in similar situations as Arjen Robben before joining Bayern. They were on the outs at Madrid and Barca so Bayern took a chance to see if they could play to the great potential they had shown in the past. Unfortunately for Bayern and James, things did not work out as well as they did for Robben. With Coutinho it is still too early too tell, but he is already costing the club tons of money with relatively little to show for it.
Although Rodriguez did not make Bayern’s worst transfer list, perhaps because it was only a loan spell, it should be no surprise that Portugal’s Renato Sanches topped the list as Bayern’s worst transfer since 2009. Bayern spent big on one of Europe’s brightest young talents at the time, but Sanches could not play to the potential he showed at the Euro Cup in 2016 that put him on the map. Sanches’ spell at Bayern included poor form, even worse form when on loan, and a bad attitude. Bayern ultimately lost €10 million when the club sold him to Lille.
Others making Bayern’s worst transfer list include Mario Götze, whom the club bought for €37 million and eventually sold for €22 million — to the same club, Borussia Dortmund — and Sandro Wagner, on whom the club lost €8 million euros after deciding it was simply impossible to keep any regular backup striker behind Lewandowski happy.
One player on ESPN’s list of Bayern’s worst transfers who should not have been there is Luiz Gustavo. Gustavo’s time at Bayern was cut short, since he was not in Pep Guardiola’s plans, and Bayern had to sell him at a small loss, but since Luiz Gustavo was with the club for the Treble and played in the Champions League final, his spell at the club should definitely be considered good business. The Brazilian defensive midfielder helped the team win their first Treble. He was a success.
Who are some of Bayern Munich’s other best and worst signings?