It really looked as if Javi Martinez would be leaving Bayern Munich this summer to return to La Liga, but a transfer didn’t wind up materializing and he’ll be staying in Germany at least until the winter. This was largely in part a result of Thiago Alcantara leaving to join Liverpool in the Premier League not long before the window closed. Martinez no doubt understands that he’s primarily going to be used as as substitute this season, but it’s a role he’s accepted and he’s willing to play that part as needed.
Tz suggests that Martinez can really be a good mentor for Bayern Munich newcomer Marc Roca, who signed from Espanyol this summer. Much like Roca, Martinez also transferred to Bayern from a La Liga at a young age, so he’ll know exactly what Roca is going through right now. Adjusting to a new country, league, and language can always prove to be a difficult learning curve, but with Martinez as his guide, Roca can adapt much quicker than he would’ve anticipated.
It also helps that Roca plays the same position as Martinez. Both are natural center midfielders that are better suited playing a more defensive role in the center of the pitch, though Martinez has also been used as a center back quite often at Bayern. Hansi Flick indicated that he thinks Martinez play a pivotal role in Roca’s transition to Bayern Munich as well.
“He [Javi] can be of great help to Marc Roca,” Flick said knowing how much of a role model the Spaniard will be to his compatriot.
Rpca has the potential to become another Xabi Alonso-esque midfielder for Bayern and with Martinez’s support, Roca can become a key figure in Flick’s setup — especially in a season that will see a lot of rotations.
Scoring the winning goal in extra time against Sevilla in the UEFA Supercup, we thought we had seen Javi’s fitting farewell to Bayern before heading back to Spain, but that just wasn’t to be. Now, we’ll have another season to see the two-time treble winner offer his veteran experience and leadership in the form of a mentor for Roca along with Bayern’s other new signings.
Of course, Martinez has made brief cameos against Hertha Berlin and Arminia Bielefeld this season in addition to playing 80+ minutes in the DFL-Supercup and 20 in the UEFA Supercup. However, the most telling performance as to what his mentoring roll will be this season was the 3-0 DFB-Pokal win over FC Düren when he lined up alongside Roca in the center of midfield. The two complimented each other well and provided the necessary stability in front of what was a back line of Niklas Sule, Jerome Boateng, Alphonso Davies, and newcomer Bouna Sarr.