The announcement of the transfer of Bouna Sarr to Bayern Munich came as a little bit of a surprise at the close of the summer transfer window. At the time, there really hadn’t been a lot of information circulating that would suggest Bayern was about to sign the defender from Olympique Marseille. So far this season, he’s made a total of 8 appearances across all competitions for Bayern, the strongest of which came in the first round DFB-Pokal win against FC Düren when he provided 2 assists.
In a recent interview with Bayern’s club magazine, 51, Sarr talked about his transition to a defender’s role, his aspirations of being on the French National Team, and his early childhood respect for Bayern (FCBayern.com).
Earlier in his career, in his days with FC Metz and Marseille in Ligu1, Sarr primarily played as a winger or as a central attacking midfielder in the number 10 role. Two seasons ago, then Marseille manager Rudi Garcia had asked Sarr to switch to a defender’s role, which he said has helped him see new perspectives on the pitch. He can get involved on both sides of the ball, which is especially beneficial at a club like Bayern, where the wing backs spend a lot of time roaming forward to join in on the attack. “You have to get involved and recognize what new possibilities are opening up. I now have two variants in my repertoire and can interpret the flank offensively and defensively. If there is a need up front on the wings, I can play there, and it was the same in Marseille. Today I am more versatile than before, I don’t mind switching between roles,” he said of making the change.
Unfortunately, Sarr had to pull out of the French National Team over the summer due to injury when he was called up by Didier Deschamps. It was the first time he’d received a callup for Les Bleus, so it was disappointing for him to have missed out on the opportunity. On one hand, moving to Bayern to primarily serve as a backup to fellow compatriot Benjamin Pavard was a risk in terms of his chances to make the national team, but, on the other hand, it also put him a bit more on the radar. “In French there is a word that is even stronger than fighting…translated it might mean: I’m working hard for this great goal. I hope that this change will help me because every single training session makes me stronger and the club as a whole is very much in focus. I was nominated in the summer but couldn’t be there because of an injury. I will not give up and will work day in and day out,” Sarr said of his aspirations with Les Bleus.
Looking back to his youth and earlier playing days, Sarr said he’s always had great respect for Bayern Munich. It’s a club, he said, that everyone in France is aware of and has great respect for. Of course, Bayern has had its fair share of French legends and is currently employs fellow French players Kingsley Coman, Lucas Hernandez, Corentin Tolisso, and Benjamin Pavard in addition to Sarr. “Naturally. I already knew as a child that this was one of the best and most important clubs in the world. When Olympique played against Bayern, it was always a feast day for us. The philosophy of this association is very much appreciated in France. If you don’t know FC Bayern, you don’t know very well about football. It was always clear that you had to watch out for Bavaria, there was the greatest respect, sometimes even fear - and this development has even intensified in recent years,” he explained.