After selling Sandro Wagner to Tianjin TEDA for €5 million, Robert Lewandowski finds himself as Bayern Munich’s only striker. Although he wasn’t called upon often, Wagner was able to supply 11 goals and 3 assists in his 38 appearances for the Bavarian club. He might not have been used as much as he’d liked, but it was certainly a comfort to know that in the event that Lewandowski was injured or in need of rest, Bayern had a serviceable backup who could get the job done. Now that Wagner’s gone, the question is how will Bayern compensate for this loss.
In answers to reporters, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge remained calm and displayed confidence in his squad’s depth:
Sandro asked [to leave] because he had an offer from China with an incredibly high salary. We discussed that with the coach and Niko Kovac thought that with Thomas Müller and Serge Gnabry, in case of doubt, we have alternatives. But Robert Lewandowski has never been injured at Bayern Munich since 2014.
Over the course of his five seasons with Bayern, Lewandowski has missed only fifteen games: eight for rest, one for suspension, and only six for injury. That kind of durability has to bring a degree of stability to Bayern’s attack for Niko Kovac.
In the case of a rare Lewandowski injury, Rummenigge is right in mentioning Thomas Müller and Serge Gnabry. Müller has shown his attacking quality in the past, scoring 181 goals during his time with the club. Even though he may not be the lethal finisher that the Pole is, he can be successful in his stead. If Kovac were to opt for speed instead, Gnabry would be his first choice. When he was on loan to Werder Bremen and Hoffenheim, the 23-year-old played many games effectively as an attacker, scoring a combined 21 goals.
It’s always good to look at all the possibilities that could happen, but as it stands nothing has changed. This season, we’ve seen Wagner for just 264 minutes. Most of those minutes came in garbage time or against a team like 4th division SV Rödinghausen. The fact is that right now Bayern have the best striker in the world playing the vast majority of minutes. He’ll be hungry for goals to fuel his record-breaking pursuits which will only help the entirety of Bayern Munich as a whole.