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What do we do now? — BFW Roundtable on the fallout from Leroy Sané’s Injury

Our writers discuss the winners and losers of this ordeal and how we can salvage this transfer window.

Borussia Dortmund v Bayern München - DFL Supercup 2019 Photo by Federico Guerra Moran/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Just when things all seem to be going well for Bayern Munich, we get hit with this bombshell from The Athletic UK (paywall) writer Sam Lee:

‪Leroy Sane’s injury doesn’t look good and there are fears he has damaged his ACL. He’ll have more tests tomorrow but surgery is regarded as a likely option at the moment. Reports of fluid on his knee delaying full diagnosis could be true. Guardiola said on Sunday that it didn’t look too bad, and he walked around the pitch twice with the other players at Wembley. A partial tear would be 4-6 months, full rupture 9+‬ months. Bayern now have a difficult decision to make — try to sign him (for a lower fee presumably) and risk him not recovering properly, or wait and see what happens and risk City managing to agree a new deal.

It’s an absolutely shocking turn of events that couldn’t have come at a worse time for Bayern. With the season opener just over a week away, and money burning a hole in our pockets, the team now faces a difficult decision to buy him now or spend elsewhere.

Our roundtable consisted of two questions:

1) What are your thoughts on the report/injury and the transfer saga as a whole?

2) Who do we buy now?

First: the reaction to the report.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Chuck Smith

I think the saga has gone on way too long and now it has hit its apex of absurdity with Leroy Sané going down. Honestly, all three parties are big losers here.

— Bayern Munich tied its entire transfer window to Sané, and now he could be out with a potential ACL injury or some lesser ailment that will still cost him time.

— Leroy Sane cost himself a big raise and ended up injured because this whole thing carried on way too long.

Manchester City potentially cost itself €100 million (or more) to use Sane in a glorified friendly for who knows what reason.

The whole scenario is just one colossal debacle after another. If this deal was truly so close to getting done, then all three parties should have approached it with a little more urgency. Everyone needs to chill out a bit in pointing the blame, though. Each party in this mess deserves to be face-palming itself.


Marcus Iredahl

This saga might end in the cruelest way possible. It has been four months of constant back and forth rumors that finally looked like it was coming to an end. But now it can very well end with an injury in a pointless game. Heart-breaking and frustrating, this saga can leave every Bayern fan with a million “what-ifs?”

Now, was it necessary for Manchester City to play Leroy Sané in, let’s face it, a fancy word for a friendly game? No. Did they have every right to? Yes. I believe it is a bit immoral for Pep Guardiola and the City board to play Sané during negotiations, which, if you believe many sources, were only leading one way. Then again, they have every right to play him as long as he is contracted to the club. No one knew he was going to get injured, no one wanted his injury to happen. This was just so unfortunate. I feel for Sané most of all.


Jake Fenner

At the summer camp I used to work at, we had a very special, super secret catchphrase for situations like this. And I feel it’s applicable here (*clears throat*):

(*screams*)

GOD LITERAL DAMNIT

I was so happy when the Sané rumors were announced and welcomed them with every move in Bayern’s direction. I wouldn’t have bought a jersey with Sané’s name on the back right away, but the prospect of us bringing in a World Class German winger was too good to be true. After doing nothing at all during this transfer window that had been so hyped up, we were finally going to get a transfer on our hands. But now, it’s nothing.

I could try to assign blame, but I can’t really. Bayern made it clear they wanted to get Sané, Sané took his time to make the best decision for him (which looked like he’d be wearing red), and ManCity wanted to get the best price they could. But none of that happens now if this injury is an ACL tear.

I feel angry and sad, and I don’t know where to go from here.


Joshua Tobolt

This was extremely careless of Man City. There was no need for them to play Sané. None. Respected footballing sources from England and Germany had made it well known that Sané to Bayern was a done deal, with formalities to be sorted out in the coming days.

On Manchester City’s part, it was absolutely careless, especially for a game that equates to a gloried friendly. The game did not matter in any capacity. It’s like putting your stars on the line to win the ICC Cup. I don’t know if it was Pep or ManCity’s fault here, but if I was Uli Hoeness or Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, I’d be livid. This screams like a slap to the face. ManCity knew Bayern’s desperation and focus on Sané and showed careless disregard. I guess €100-€150m is chump change when you’re funded by an oil oligarchy.

Bayern got screwed, Man City lost €150 million and both ManCity and Pep permanently damaged their transfer reputation. If I was any club I’d be hard pressed to trust them at their word.


And now question 2): Who do we go after now?


Chuck Smith

Like a broken record, I’ll continue to beat the drum for RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner. I think Werner can be Bayern’s versatile piece across all of the front four (or three if Niko Kovac opts for a 4-3-3) positions. He’s a terrific goal scorer, fast, tough, and would be a dynamic fit in the lineup. Sure, I’d love to have Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz filling the same role, but I can’t see anyway that is happen during this transfer window even if Brazzo hand delivered €125 million in unmarked bills to Rudi Völler’s house. I’m not as big on Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech despite his talent. I’m not sure he’s a great fit at this stage, but I guess when it’s getting late and Brazzo looks across the bar and Hakim is wearing a provocative shade of red...you just never know what can happen in the transfer market.


Marcus Iredahl

I still think we should try to get Sané to Munich. Let him begin his recovery here. Maybe take him on loan for a year and then buy him for less than previously discussed. Or buy him now for much less than previously discussed. Before the injury, he was the best option by a long distance. That is what hurts the most from a fan perspective. Let’s try and get one more winger: Steve Bergwijn, Hakim Ziyech, Leon Bailey maybe even Timo Werner. But let’s keep an eye on Sané.


Jake Fenner

This phrase is something we aren’t used to hearing. But, I’m going to be blunt: if Bayern Munich doesn’t buy anyone this summer, Borussia Dortmund is going to win the league.

We are talking about a team that took Bayern down to the final day. And then they reloaded their depth with Thorgan Hazard, Julian Brandt, and Nico Schulz. That team is going to be super good and would beat Bayern to the title right now (imo).

The board has been kind of disappointing this summer. We passed up on a lot of good talent in order to prepare for this window. We can’t walk out with nothing. I personally like Hakim Ziyech and would bring him on board to help our winger problem as soon as possible. Kai Havertz is a pipe dream in this transfer window, and I wouldn’t spend over but if it can happen, bring him here. I know Chuck is gonna talk about Timo Werner (who, again, I like). As much as I’m not confident in his abilities on the wing, even getting him in a #10 role may be helpful.

Just please, dear god. DO SOMETHING.


Joshua Tobolt

In terms of who I’d buy.....that’s a complicated one.

1. Ziyech, easily. I know he’s mid to late 20’s, but we need a winger, and I emphasize need, and he’s the best available. And at €35 for a 4/5 year deal. It’s a easy choice to make.

2. I’d grab Roca. Up and coming Spaniard who should mesh well with Thiago and our culture plus adds necessary defensive qualities to our squad as that’s still a giant question mark until Hernandez and Süle mesh.

3. I know I’ll be chastised for this, but I can’t comprehend spending €100m for Havertz. I like him, but as we’ve seen from Semp and other sources, we already have an elite midfield, and Havertz will either ride the bench or push out someone else — mostly I fear Müller based on Kovac’s history with him.

4. I’d honestly have to say I’d buy Sané if, IF, the price is not a single € over €50m, assuming his injury is severe. Man City have no right to claim above that due to their careless behavior costing them the true value of Sane + ACL Injuries ALWAYS impact cutting and speed, the 2 qualities Sane relies on. There’s no guarantee he returns to the same level and this deserves no more than a €50m market value.


UPDATE: For those holding out hope, I’m sorry. Our worst fears have been confirmed via Christian Falk. He needs an operation.

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