Bayern Munich’s core of consistently good veterans did not leave much room for choices when looking for a Most Improved Player, but some of the younger players definitely made strides with their respective games.
Kingsley Coman displayed some frighteningly good offensive skill and provided the Bayern lineup with a true charge when return from an early season injury. Serge Gnabry had a great year on loan at Hoffenheim during the 2017/2018 season and was somehow even better this season.
Niklas Sule developed into the team’s first-choice center back, while Sven Ulreich was extremely impressive in filling in for Manuel Neuer this season.
Who did we select? Take a look and find out.
Chuck Smith: Niklas Sule
Oddly, I also picked Sule for this award last season, but for as good as he was last year, he made even bigger strides this season. Sule developed into Niko Kovac’s primary option at center back and grew into one of the most solid and dependable players in the Bundesliga this season. While he had some struggles with consistency early in the season, Sule’s strength, speed, and timely tackling made him an easy choice for me. You can’t ask for much more than a player whose game keeps growing and getting better.
Ineednoname: Serge Gnabry
There was a time early in the Hinrunde when Gnabry went game after game without scoring or getting an assist and people questioned whether he was Bayern quality. Now look at him - he’s currently our best winger and one of the team’s main goal threats. As Uli said, he’s the most pleasant surprise of the season.
John N. Dillon: Serge Gnabry
I had my doubts about Serge Gnabry, but he truly has flourished under Niko Kovac. He’s just the kind of player Kovac likes: fast and direct, able to break and finish. On his game, he is one of the most entertaining players on the team now.
Berni15: Serge Gnabry
I’m not sure there can be much debate on this one. Serge Gnabry went from a promising loanee to the surprise of the season. He became an absolutely vital piece of Bayern and Germany’s attack, with his versatility and intelligence both on and off the ball proving key. I’m really not sure where Bayern would have been this campaign without the former Arsenal man. It was truly a breakout year for Gnabry. This is also a shameless self-congratulations considering that I wrote before the season that he would be Bayern’s most important player. I’m not right often, so I get excited when I am.
LKChuggz: Manuel Neuer
It was a tough season last year for Manuel Neuer. This year he was mostly fit and most of the season he showed that he is still a world-class keeper. It was great to watch him play this year and to know that you have a consistent keeper. Even when he did get hurt, he would come back strong when he was needed the most. This specifically was the case at the Pokal Final, where Neuer came back from injury and made some much-needed, skillful saves.
Phillip Quinn: Niklas Sule
Niklas Sule started the 2018-19 season as the likely backup center back on the squad, and before the fall was over, he had leapfrogged both Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels to the top of the list. The question became “Who will Niko Kovac partner with Niklas Sule today?” He showed great development in his decision making and field positioning. If the 23 year old continues this upward trajectory, he could be Bayern’s anchor center back for nearly a decade.
Marcus Iredahl: Serge Gnabry
Without a doubt that goes to Serge Gnabry. He’s had a couple of great Bundesliga seasons with Werder Bremen and Hoffenheim, yet, I think it’s fair to say that many Bayern fans did not expect him to raise his game in the manner he did. 10 goals and five assists in the league is great for a player whom many believed would have the same fate as Sebastian Rudy, Jan Kirchhoff, Jan Schlaudraff, and Sebastian Rode.
Brian Burton: Serge Gnabry
He technically wasn’t playing for Bayern last year, but Serge Gnabry went from a loan player to scoring double digit goals in the Bundesliga for the third year in a row, and 13 across all competitions. If I were asked last year who I thought the future stars of Bayern were, I would’ve chosen players like Leon Goretzka and Kingsley Coman; Serge Gnabry was overlooked by a lot of us. He came out this year and proved to us that he will be a force for Bayern for years to come.
Tom Adams: Serge Gnabry
This isn’t to say that Gnabry didn’t start off strong, I just feel that he got significantly better as the season progressed. Switching to a vegan diet seems to have done him wonders. He’s seem’s stronger, more fit, and his endurance is through the roooooooooof. I vividly remember his strength and quick bursts of speed on perfect display in Germany’s Euro 2020 qualifier against the Netherlands — he was out-muscling everyone, whizzing by defenders, and scored an absolute peach of a goal. I believe that match was in March and ever since then he was a danger man for Bayern. He showed up big time in crucial closing stages of the season and I was so pleased to see how much he’d improved from the beginning of the campaign.
Who did you think deserved being acknowledged as Bayern’s Most Improved Player? Tell us in the poll below and also in the comments.
Who was Bayern Munich’s Most Improved Player for 2018/2019?
This poll is closed
Someone else — leave your candidate in the comments
This is the part of our BFW Postseason series which will run each day.