Newly minted Bayern Munich executive board member Oliver Kahn just had his debut in front of the media, and one of the topics up for discussion was the surprise acquisition of Schalke keeper Alexander Nübel in the summer. The announcement of the transfer has been met with bemusement among media circles, given the fact that Manuel Neuer is still the number 1 for both Bayern and Germany.
Kahn, himself a former goalkeeper, gave a pragmatic assessment of the situation. Der Titan praised the Schalke youngster’s bravery for taking the next step in his career:
Everyone, including Alexander Nübel, has to go his own way. He said that that is his way, that he sees himself as a future number 1, but also wants first to learn from Manuel Neuer. His decision is extremely courageous.
Channeling his inner Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Kahn called the move a “strategic decision”:
We all know what a talent Nübel is. It was a very shrewd, strategic decision to sign such a fantastic goalkeeper when he is available. He’s ready to go to the back of the line and learn from Manuel Neuer, about whose qualities we need not say anything more. We will calmly see how we address the topic [of games]. For now, our concentration is on the Rückrunde.
Cynics will argue that this is another attempt by Bayern to sabotage its Bundesliga competition, but that claim misses the mark. Signing Nübel is simply a case of the Bavarians seizing a great opportunity when it arises. As transfer fees balloon across Europe, the best way for Bayern to compete is to snatch up great deals as soon as they arise. Shrewd business decisions are what will keep the club ahead of the likes of Manchester United and PSG, and Kahn’s statement shows that he is already on board with the plan.