David Alaba has been the subject of a flurry of transfer rumors during this lull in action on the pitch. He enters the final year of his contract next season, and Bayern Munich has thus far not offered him an extension. Alaba’s situation is not unique in that respect — the club has postponed negotiations with other veterans approaching the end of their contracts, as well.
But Alaba’s situation is unique insofar as the breakout of Alphonso Davies at Alaba’s position has given the club a very attractive replacement. Could now be the moment for Bayern to let Alaba depart at a premium? Hence, I asked our BFW writers to share their thoughts on that question now facing Bayern’s front office. Here are our answers.
David Alaba is a long-serving key component of this squad, and the only thing that should cause #27 to leave this squad is David himself. Alaba has excelled without complaint at every position Bayern have asked him to play. He builds strong relationships with his teammates and represents positive ideas and spirit at every turn. His relationship with Ribery was the stuff of legend, and he is also close to young Davies, helping guide the budding star to be all he can be in the Bundesliga.
Alaba is also a fully matured player at the height of his skills, and his positional flexibility makes him very hard to replace. The number of players who can play more than one position at Bayern with a starter’s quality is pretty limited. I don’t see how he can be effectively replaced by one player at this point of his career.
This is also a team that needs leadership, especially at the back end. To my mind the club should do everything it can to extend Alaba’s contract. I’ll still love him if he leaves, but I think it is best for the club and David if he stays.
Bayern must not let Alaba leave. Alaba is one of the team’s most crucial players, both in terms of quality — he’s the team’s best defender — and versatility, being able to play centre-mid, left-back, and centre-back with ease. Furthermore, especially if Hansi Flick continues coaching, the Austrian’s quarterback abilities and pin-point through-balls and short passes are crucial to Bayern’s attacking buildup. Moreover, when in the heart of the defence, Alaba’s pace against counters is a valuable asset that Bayern have lacked in recent years. And, perhaps most importantly, Alaba embodies Bayern and the club philosophy more than (almost) anyone. Never has Alaba been a Lewadowski or James-esque diva; he has always been professional and proper. He is much more worthy than Joshua Kimmich of being Bayern’s next captain... Simply put, it is vital that the Austrian’s services are retained. The Bayern bosses should throw the kitchen sink at getting this one over the line.
David Alaba has been a key figure at Bayern since the 2011/12 season. Imagining him in a different jersey is hard to do. Not only has been in Munich for so long, but he has proven his worth to the club time and time again. Having stability on the left side for all these years has been something that most fans have probably taken for granted. This year, Alaba has proven to be even more invaluable, as he has slotted into center-back to cover for a myriad of injuries at that position. He has also helped mentor the young Alphonso Davies and helped him get his footings as a left back this season.
As much as I would love to see Alaba finish his career at Bayern, he has given his all to this club for the better part of the decade. If he wants a new adventure or doesn’t feel like he will be happy at Bayern anymore, I think the club owes it to him to let him go.
Alaba should absolutely stay at Bayern. Yes, Davies has taken over at left-back. But Alaba is still one of Bayern’s top defenders. Lucas Hernandez was brought in to rotate between left-back and center-back as Bayern’s latest record signing, but he has been underwhelming thus far. Is he talented? Yes, but he has not produced nearly at the level of Alaba or Davies. Furthermore, Alaba is one of the last true “Mia San Mia” Bayern players. He and Müller are the last true Bayern academy players. Losing him would not only be a blow to the quality of Bayern on the field but also a massive blow to the locker room and the culture. If Bayern is to keep their “Mia San Mia” saying and not have any of their academy players (given all the constant rumors of Müller leaving), then those three words ring empty. Yes Neuer, Thiago, and Lewandowski all personify Bayern, but frankly, and with the exception of Kimmich, it is not the same.
So no, Alaba should not leave. he is too valuable to Bayern both on the field and off the field to leave. But if he truly wishes to no longer be at Bayern, there is very little that can be done to force a player to play for a team he no longer wants to be a part of. Hopefully, that’s not the case and he can finish his career as a Bayern legend.
As many have already mentioned, Alaba is Bayern’s last academy success and has developed into a club icon. For those reasons alone, the club should try to hold on to him. However, whether he stays or goes may not come down to Bayern’s stance, but Alaba’s.
If he does stay at Bayern, he will have to get used to playing a lot more center-back. Hernandez neither proved he can stay healthy nor that he can be a full-time center-back. Davies has proven too valuable at left-back to move remove him from the starting lineup.
Does Alaba want to be a center-back? He’s already made it clear he doesn’t see himself on the right side of defense. Should he not be guaranteed the position he wants to play, he could very easily find a situation in which he can play the position he wants.
If he does leave, Bayern would have more than enough talent to have a competent defense. Bringing in someone like Dayot Upamecano would also help fill the void. His departure would just be a shame considering how much he has embodied the club.