As the winter break comes to an end, Bild released a mega-article detailing the contract situation of eight first-team players at Bayern Munich. Reviewing the likelihood of staying or leaving in the summer got us thinking — who among the eight should the club keep/sell?
The players in question are the two loanees, Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Perisic, and six key players whose contracts expire in 2021. They are Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, Thiago Alcantara, David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, and Javi Martinez. We decided to split these eight into two groups — stay and go — and asked our writers for their take on the situation. Here’s what they said:
Stay: Muller, Neuer, Alaba, Thiago, Boateng.
- Muller is of absolutely paramount importance to Bayern. That stats don’t lie. 82-5-1 when Mueller scores. That’s earning Bayern 251 points out of 264. That’s not to mention he is currently Bayern’s assist leader. He’s also the last vestige of “Mia San Mia” being one of the last academy players in the team (The other being Alaba.) So, to keep it simple, yes. He’s essential to Bayern’s success.
- Neuer is the current Bayern captain. He’s also a top 5 goalkeeper in the world and will be so for the next 2-3 years at the very least. Even with Nubel’s entry to the keeper room, Neuer’s on and off the field leadership is too important to let leave.
- Alaba is another vestige of “Mia San Mia” with Muller and is considered one of the world’s best LB’s as well as a capable CB substitute. That one is easy to pick.
- Thiago as a midfielder is at the very least a capable substitute. When he is on, he’s on. But when he is off, he is off. When compared to the rest of the midfielders, Thiago is still an invaluable member of the midfield.
- Boateng, while much maligned is still needed. Until Bayern gets more bodies in the CB room, he is a necessary body. That being said, he is still capable of filling in when needed.
Go: Coutinho, Perisic, Javi.
- Coutinho is great, don’t get me wrong. But he suffers from the same issues James Rodriguez suffered from. He’s talented on the ball but he tries to be too cute sometimes and is sadly too slow for what he is needed too. For his price tag, Bayern can get better players who are younger.
- Perisic is a great role player, but with the impending arrival of Sane the room could get too full to give him any necessary playing time (barring injuries, of course.
- Javi, bless his soul. He was essential to Bayern’s stunning draw vs. Liverpool at Anfield last year. However, he has fallen down the totem pole due to his age and speed. He is still our best defensive midfielder, but his liabilities with speed and age make him a substitute level player for Bayern at this stage, behind Tolisso and Goreztka.
Stay: Muller, Neuer, Alaba, Thiago.
- Muller is not only one of Bayern’s best players, but a top-three attacking midfielder in the world. He’s also a club legend and it would be foolish to not extend his contract.
- At 33, Neuer still has much to give at Bayern with his goalkeeping and leadership capabilities.
- Alaba can play in a variety of positions making him a valuable asset for any side.
- Thiago can still be world-class on his day, especially when paired with Leon Goretzka, he should be able to contribute for Bayern for years to come.
Go: Boateng, Coutinho, Perisic, Javi.
- Coutinho has under-performed since moving to Bayern and Coupled with his gargantuan wages, it’s should be obvious for the club to move him on.
- Boateng has looked past it in previous games and sadly, he’s simply not up to the top level anymore. His time has come.
- Perisic is another player who has failed to impress in recent weeks and on the wrong side of 30, his loan deal must not be extended.
- Finally, Javi Martinez is already in the twilight of his career. He has lost any sort of pace he had and unfortunately, as a result, can’t compete at the upper echelons of European football any longer.
Stay: Neuer, Muller, Thiago, Alaba, Javi.
- Neuer is still the best goalkeeper in the world and the captain of the squad. Extending his contract is a no-brainer, even with Nubel’s impending arrival.
- Thomas Muller is one of the top playmakers in the world. His output at attacking midfield is rivaled only by Kevin De Bruyne — replacing him would be impossible. He should stay.
- Despite some poor performances this season, Thiago is one of the best midfielders in the world and the best midfielder at Bayern. The Spaniard needs a proper partnership to flourish, and in Leon Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso, he may find one if Hansi Flick gets his tactics right.
- Alaba is another no-brainer. This season, he’s transitioned from being a world-class left-back to a world-class center back and has also begun stamping his authority as a leader in defense. Give him all the money and tie him down in Munich.
- Javi Martinez still has something to offer to Bayern in the biggest games (eg. against Liverpool or Manchester City) if the coach sets up his tactics right. If he agrees to a one-year contract extension, he should stay.
Go: Coutinho, Perisic, Boateng.
- Coutinho has failed to show up against any team that isn’t battling relegation. Given his incredible wages and the 120m euro buy-back option, he should go back to Barcelona.
- Perisic has been abysmal so far this season. Statistically, he has the second-worst passing accuracy on the squad, creates the fewest chances of any attacker, and is a poor dribbler. No wonder Inter Milan loaned him for so little.
- Boateng has been trying to leave Bayern for three summers now, and it’s time to let him go. The man just isn’t up for it anymore.