Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić and Bayern Munich’s front office team have been quite busy lately. After the transfer of Thiago Alcantara to Liverpool and the departures of Ivan Perisic and Philippe Coutinho to Inter Milan and FC Barcelona respectively, there was widespread concern among Bayern fans over squad depth heading into the new season.
Bayern’s fixture schedule this season is nothing short of ridiculous: after the international break, Bayern will be playing eight games in the short span of three weeks. With Michaël Cuisance now loaned out on top of previous departures, the Bayern management had to come up with solutions fast — or risk running the remaining players into the ground. Fortunately, they stepped up to the occasion with some great depth signings.
Without further ado, here’s a summary of the four players Bayern has recently signed for the first-team:
Arguably Bayern’s best signing this month, the midfielder joined the Bavarians from La Liga club Espanyol. A highly-rated talent, Roca provides valuable depth in a key position: the midfield. He is primarily a deep-lying playmaker but can also thrive in a more defensive role. He would be the Bayern midfielder closest to a Thiago replacement, having great vision, dribbling, and a good reading of the game.
Roca has signed for a period of five years (until 2025) for a reported fee of €15 million (including add-ons), which is considered a steal by experts and fans alike. He is loved by Espanyol fans, who seemed nostalgic, yet happy for his move. This is a great sign, as Bayern would really love to have another Spanish midfielder loved by everyone (see: Martinez, Javi and Alcantara, Thiago).
We can expect him to serve not only as a back-up to Joshua Kimmich, but also to feature regularly. The qualities he offers are quite different to those of Kimmich and Goretzka: he is a better dribbler, more tenacious as a defensive midfielder, and has great finesse. Thus, he would be best suited to games where Bayern is looking to control the tempo from deep.
Plus, his passion and “Mia San Mia” attitude was evident in his first tweet as a Bayern player:
It also seems like he’s already befriended Thomas Müller. This lad is smart, and we can’t wait to see him play!
This was a move that surprised many. Sure, Sarr is Marseille’s starting right-back, and he is a seasoned player, but after watching Bayern pursue players like Sergino Dest and Max Aarons for months, this definitely feels like a downgrade. However, given that Pavard is our starting right-back and Sarr is only joining for depth, this is definitely a solid purchase.
It is quite unfortunate that Sarr’s signing coincides with the rise of Chris Richards. “Air Richards” is turning out to be a very good player, but he may see his minutes at right-back reduced this season with Sarr’s arrival. However, we can expect Flick to pick only the best for the team, and therefore we might have an interesting battle for the role of second foil.
Sarr comes to Bayern for a fee of 10 million euros on a 4-year contract (until 2024). He is an attack-minded right-back, with good pace and overlapping runs. He offers different qualities to Pavard and could offer a different dimension as a substitute. Sarr is also versatile. He has played as a centre-back and as a right wingback aside from his regular right-back spot, which could prove valuable during the crunch months.
Sarr is definitely not the “dream backup signing,” but getting him for such a low fee and solving our depth problems at RB for the next 4 years means Bayern have another winner on their hands.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
The Hamburg native has returned to Germany after a year at Stoke City followed by a 2-year stint at Paris Saint-Germain, gaining vital experience on the European stage. Having previously played at Schalke 04, he will be joining many familiar faces in Leroy Sané, Leon Goretzka, and Alexander Nübel.
Signed on for a one-year contract, the 31-year-old Cameroonian international will serve as the backup striker to Robert Lewandowski. This move plays to Bayern’s squad strengths. Standing at a height of 1.91m, Choupo-Moting will be easy to find from the wings. Never one to shy away from defensive duties, Choupo should slot right into Bayern’s high tempo pressing to win the ball high up the pitch.
While not known for scoring a lot of goals despite being a centre forward, Choupo allows Lewy to be rested while still providing solid physical presence up top to hold on to leads late in a game. He can also be paired with Lewandowski if need be to beef up and bully a stubborn opposition defence. The fact that he was a free agent makes this deal all the sweeter.
The most familiar face of the arrivals, the Brazilian will don the Bayern shirt for a season long loan from Juventus. He will join Serge Gnabry, Sané, and Kingsley Coman at the wings with young Jamal Musiala thrown into the mix. Costa will provide important depth to the Bayern winger department that is known to be injury prone.
This will be the 30-year-old’s second stint in Munich. His first came under Pep Guardiola after Bayern signed him in 2015 from Shakhtar Donetsk. After enjoying an incredible start to life at Bayern, injuries and later a lack of playing time under Carlo Ancelotti ultimately lead to his move away to Juventus.
Known for his pace, explosiveness, and dribbling ability, Costa will be a vital addition to the squad. Considering Bayern’s current high-octane style of play, he can make a strong impact either coming off the bench to harass a tired opposition or right from kickoff thanks to his high work rate. Welcome back, Flash!
Sure, not all the signings Bayern has made are flashy/high-profile. However, depth was what we needed, and solid depth is what we got. Considering the four signings above joined for a combined €25 million, we can really say that Brazzo has done it again. This has been a solid transfer window for Bayern, and our squad looks primed to battle it out on all three fronts (Bundesliga, DFB Pokal, and UCL) once again.