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Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Bayern Munich’s 4-0 win over FC Köln; Transfer updates on Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic and FC Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic; plus MORE!

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Bayern Munich is rolling once again!

FC Bayern Muenchen v 1. FC Koeln - Bundesliga Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images

Die Folgen: Bayern’s 4-0 victory over the Billy Goats (Bavarian Football Works)

Bayern Munich proved just how good it can be by throttling FC Köln 4-0. Here are some quick hitters on the match:

  • Robert Lewandowski’s evolution from disgruntled malcontent looking to leave two years ago to committed team leader has been a joy to watch. The Polish Hitman could always flat-out score — and he’s doing so at an alarmingly high rate so far this season — but his development to take on bigger role within the squad has made him even more effective as part of the roster. With another brace, Lewandowski now has 11 goals in eight games across all competitions, including nine goals in five Bundesliga games. It was Lewandowski’s decision to allow Philippe Coutinho a PK attempt that showed how different things are now for the 31-year-old.
  • This Bayern roster is good...really, really good.
  • The new boys all held their own yesterday. Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard were solid manning the defensive flanks, while Coutinho turned in a very good performance at the 10. It was Ivan Perisic, however, who is proving to be a terrific fit in the Bayern Munich wing rotation. With Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry extremely talented — but often brittle — Perisic was a superb addition to help keep both players healthy.
  • Michaël Cuisance even came on for a spirited bit of time as a substitute.
  • The debate will undoubtedly rage on where Joshua Kimmich should play: right-back or defensive midfield? Sure, he can play both and has the talent and vision to seamlessly do both. If it were my call, I’d play him out-wide, just because I think he’s better there and is perhaps the best right-back in the world. Regardless, Niko Kovac is pushing a lot of the correct buttons right now, so we’ll see how this all evolves over the course of the season.
  • It does seem — whether it is a club directive or not — that Kovac is intent on playing Pavard at right-back instead of at center-back. The versatility of players like Pavard and Kimmich, though, could be a huge benefit to Bayern Munich this year should injuries start to mount. As of now, it appears that Kimmich lacks some of the instincts to defend at an elite level centrally, where as his defensive prowess at right-back seems much more fine-tuned.
  • I thought the FC Köln uniforms were pretty sweet honestly.
  • FC Köln played tough, but was completely over-matched. They played tough and the score was not overly indicative of how tight they played Bayern at times.

If you missed our Match Awards or Observations, give them a look:

Rakitic possibly on the move (Transfer Market Web)

FC Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic was linked to Bayern Munich a few times last summer, but nothing came of it. Now, the 31-year-old is drawing interest from Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Juventus, Inter Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain:

Already tracked by Juventus, Croatian international midfielder Ivan Rakitic (31), according to The Sun, has been targeted by Arsenal and Tottenham. Barcelona FC old-timer was inquired by Inter Milan and PSG as well.

Cuisance and Davies to play for Bayern II today; whither Arp? (@iMiaSanMia)

Michaël Cuisance and Alphonso Davies will get some run with Bayern II today. This might be nothing, but Fiete Arp didn’t dress for the Champions League game against Red Star and didn’t dress against FC Köln, and now is not even dressed for this Bayern II match against Ingolstadt. Something seems amiss.

This feels like a winter loan is coming for the #ArpTrain.

Mandzukic still talking to Qatari club (Transfer Market Web)

Another player who was linked to Bayern Munich, might now be looking to continue his career in the Middle East. Juventus outcast Mario Mandzukic is reportedly still in discussions with Qatari’s Al-Rayyan:

According to latest TMW rumors, talks between Qatari side Al-Rayyan and Mario Mandzukic’s entourage are going on. While Juventus outcast is asking for a 10 million euros annual salary, the offer stands lower. Meanwhile, the club are about to invest on new facilities, fit for two European international level players such as Yacine Brahimi and Mandzukic themselves.

Four years ago today, Lewy went “5-in-9” (@AlexChaffer)

I’m not sure anyone will ever forget Robert Lewandowski torching Wolfsburg for five goals in nine minutes: