Since the long and exhausting transfer window has finally come to a end, we asked a few BFW contributors to share their opinions on who was Bayern Munich’s “best” signing and why they think that is the case. Our picks, below:
Fergus Tong: Benjamin Pavard
There were many options for myself to answer this question — Lucas Hernandez, Ivan Perisic etc... However, I ultimately settled on the young Frenchman bought from Stuttgart for €35m. At that price, Pavard represents excellent value for money and a deal unmatched in the current transfer market — the same transfer market where €80m for Hernandez looks to be a shrewd purchase, and Harry Maguire (a centre-half who is only slightly, if anything, better than Pavard) is valued at an astronomical near €90m!
However, Pavard’s deal excels not only financially but also in terms of squad depth. The World Cup-winning right back brings top-class quality in both the right and central defender positions. In recent years, Bayern have struggled with fullback depth in crucial CL ties, often being forced to play Rafinha to detrimental effects. As a result, having a versatile player like Benji will only make the team less susceptible to poor defensive errors, which hamper championship chances.
Since making his debut, Pavard has only impressed. He’s started all three of Bayern’s Bundesliga games, including a MOTM performance against Hertha Berlin. At RB, he’s been a significant improvement over Rafinha. He’s not only a much better defensive player but also a better player in the offensive phase. At CB, he has looked equally impressive as Mats Hummels and has showcased his strength, considerable pace, ball-playing qualities, and resilience. Pavard is a fantastic signing that in my opinion will go down as Bayern’s best of the window.
Marcus Iredahl: Lucas Hernandez
I believe we will look back at the 2019 summer transfer window as the time we bought Lucas Hernandez. I believe the sky is the limit for Hernandez, who was the most expensive transfer not only for Bayern but also for the Bundesliga as a whole. He’s looked very impressive for Bayern, despite being unable to train for a long period due to a knee injury. Only 23 years old, he can be a part of Bayern’s first team for a long time, and I think he will create a solid partnership with Niklas Süle.
The price tag does not bother me too much considering the performances Lucas can offer Bayern. I also feel like a solid defense is what Bayern was lacking the most last year. Although it got a lot better towards the end of 2018/19 season, Bayern’s shaky defense was one of the main concerns throughout the season. I believe the addition of Lucas can help solve this problem.
John Dillon: Coutinho
Coutinho was the third-most expensive player ever, after Neymar and Mbappé, just a year ago when Barcelona bought him from Liverpool for a reported fee of €160m! It’s crazy. And somehow Barcelona couldn’t figure out what to do with their new toy and they’re already done with him. It’s mind-blowing, but it is what it is. Could you imagine if Bayern blew that kind of money on someone and booted him out the door a season and a half later? Yeah, nein Liebchen.
Coutinho is an exceptional talent. Once he settles in he can provide Bayern a creative playmaker at the 10 who is a goal threat himself. He’s represents a fundamentally different style of play to Thomas Müller, and that’s fine. They can do different things, and that gives the team valuable flexibility.
But the real advantage of Coutinho is that he’s an immense talent whose presence enables Bayern to wait an entire season for its real target to convalesce, Leroy Sané. An €8.5m fee for a world-class™ player like Coutinho, who can play on the 10 or as a hybrid winger on the left (where he played both for Liverpool and, less successfully, for Barca), is a steal. Having that kind of quality at your disposal at a bargain basement discount is awesome.
The variety in opinions just goes to show how great many of Bayern’s signings were this window. It’s completely clear that the current club squad is vastly superior to their squad twelve months ago, since the players recruited have significantly improved quality, depth and were just overall smart purchases. Let’s hope for more great business in the future at Bayern and let us know your picks for ‘best signing’ in the comments.