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BFW Roundtable: Was Bayern Munich right to sell Renato Sanches?

As the 2019-20 summer transfer window deadline edges closer, we at Bavarian Football Works will be giving our takes on Renato Sanches and Marc Roca.

FC Bayern Muenchen Training Session Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Since joining Bayern Munich in 2016, Renato Sanches found playing time hard to come by, having a torrid spell at Swansea City in between two unremarkable seasons at the Munich based club. Now that he’s finally secured a permanent move abroad it’s time to consider the aftermath.

For this piece, I’ve asked BFW writers to give me their opinion on two questions. The first:

Was Bayern right to sell Sanches?

Fergus Tong

I think the club is absolutely justified in selling Sanches. For a while, it’s seemed that he has wanted out and the fact he turned down moves to “better” clubs in Leverkusken and Hoffeneheim speaks volumes about his poor acclimatization to German football and life. The board made the right decision to bite the bullet and sell the young midfielder at a loss. Although, a sell on fee percentage could have been a useful thing to co-ordinate into the contract given that Sanches has a medium-high chance of leaving Lille for a considerable sum.

Sanches already had his ego-inflated when he first joined the club and still did until his last days, expecting himself to be starting in front of record signings and club legends. This was totally unrealistic and these constant moans about playing time seemed to undermine manager Niko Kovac. In addition, the club’s new signing, Michael Cuisince, is effectively Sanches’ replacement so there was no reason to keep the Portuguese star on any longer from a depth point of view.

Phillip Quinn

I’m a big fan of Renato; however, I felt that it was clearly time for him and the club to part ways. They weren’t interested in playing him. He wanted to play, so he wanted to leave. Let him leave. There’s no reason to keep a young player that specifically wants to play more when you have no intention of playing him. I think Renato could flourish in Lille’s system. I’m not sure he’s the kind of player that would ever shine in a possession-heavy system like Bayern employ.

Chuck Smith

It was simply time for Renato Sanches to go. While he might have held some promise when Bayern Munich initially acquired him, it was simply a bad fit for both parties from the beginning. Bayern and Sanches could both be held accountable for what happened. The club had no room within its stocked midfield for a developing player who needed to learn and grow, while Sanches displayed poor execution on the pitch (for the most part) and some questionable maturity off of it. Like a bad college relationship, both sides would have ultimately been better off if they never met.


As much as I hated to see him go, it just had to be done. He wasn’t playing much, if at all, and he wanted to leave. Bayern couldn’t give him what he needed/desired most. Therefore, they had to sell him.

The second question I asked my fellow BFW writers was regarding Espanyol midfielder Marc Roca, the rumored replacement for Sanches: [Note: this was before we found out about Bayern’s decision to not pursue the player anymore]

As a result of Sanches’ move to Lille, should Bayern Munich sign Marc Roca?

Fergus Tong

I believe that the signing of Roca would just contribute to the current, disastrous midfield logjam. While some people may point to the fact that the Spaniard is a number 6 and not an 8, I believe that Thiago and Javi Martinez are both able to perform admirably in that role especially when in a 4-2-3-1 formation. A Roca signing would effectively just limit the minutes of players like Thomas Muller, Leon Goretzka, Phillipe Coutinho and Corentin Tolliso regardless of the formation (as Thiago will move up to the 8, for example)

A likely forty million Euros move for a player who shouldn’t be a regular starter would represent funds wasted that could have been spent elsewhere. E.g on Project Bavarian Mayhem: 2020!

Phillip Quinn

As for signing Roca, they’re not really the same positional player. I think Javi Martinez has more to fear from Roca than anyone else.

Chuck Smith

I’m not as high on Roca as most. For this season, Thiago Alcantara and Javi Martínez can fill that role. I don’t see the point in bringing in Roca to sit behind them when you could easily get him next season if you really want him. Much like the move for Michael Cuisance, it seems like a bit of overkill in the midfield.


Yes. Bayern are still in need of a 6. And while Marc Roca isn’t the best defensively, he is a technically gifted player who perfectly fits the profile of a modern 6. Paying 40 million euros for him would be a smart investment, especially when you consider that the only defensive midfielders that are currently at Bayern are Javi Martinez and Thiago.

With all that being said, we at Bavarian Football Works wish Renato Sanches a successful time in France! Let us know in the comments, your thoughts on the situation of Sanches and Roca!

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