I would advise him to leave the club. Because I think he needs a new challenge. He seems out of place! And as a friend, I would advise him to find himself a new club. The door isn’t shut; he has a contract, after all.
Wie ein Fremdkörper — “out of place” in the translation above — means literally “like a foreign body,” it is something that does not belong, but it also captures Boateng’s sense of alienation (in German, Entfremdung) from the club.
Over the last decade, there have been few players wearing the shirt of Bayern Munich that could claim to have contributed more to the club’s success than Jerome Boateng. For years, he walked onto the grass at the Allianz Arena as the world’s best center-back, and he played his heart out for the team. Boateng helped Bayern lift 18 trophies in his 8 seasons in Munich.
That’s why it’s been so sad to see the complete dissolution of the relationship between the player and the club.
Last summer, it was clear from everyone involved that Bayern were willing to sell Boateng’s rights if another club made a substantial offer for him and he wanted to leave. It seemed like a pretty amicable thing, and Bayern would be able to invest in another center-back to bolster the squad.
Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United came in with offers for him. Boateng was interested. Bayern rebuffed their offers for one reason or another. As the end of the summer transfer window was approaching and Bayern had refused to invest in the squad at all, there was no way the club could sell Boateng and have time to find a suitable replacement, so he had to stay another season.
The season was a tumultuous one for Boateng. He, alongside Thomas Müller and Mats Hummels, was unceremoniously kicked off out of the German national team by Jogi Löw. Boateng was the only one of the three who seemed to anticipate the news.
At Bayern, Boateng struggled throughout the season with injuries and an inability to break into Niko Kovac’s preferred pairing of Niklas Süle and Mats Hummels. He was heavily criticized by the media and the club (via the media) for trying to have a life outside of the sport with his magazine and fashion interests.
During Bayern’s in-stadium Bundesliga and DFB Pokal celebrations, Boateng looked distant and nonplussed. It’s clear that Boateng’s mind is made up and he knows that his future is somewhere other than Munich. And, if all of the various reports are to be believed, he’ll have no shortage of suitors from Manchester United to Paris Saint-Germain to Juventus to Napoli.
But It’s a shame that Boateng is unlikely to get the send off that he rightly deserves on the field at the Allianz Arena. Unless this transfer saga spills over into late July or early August during the preseason, there won’t be a big farewell celebration for Boateng. There won’t be any flowers or photographs. It’s a crying shame.
Bayern deserve better. Boateng deserves better. The fans deserve better.