clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Thomas Muller’s extension with Bayern Munich was not a “Glory Days” move

Bayern Munich extended Thomas Müller’s deal through 2023, which locked up the star for another three seasons.

FC Bayern Muenchen Extends Contract With Thomas Mueller Until 2023 Photo by M. Donato/FC Bayern via Getty Images

When Bayern Munich made the first publicly promoted contract signing of the Social Distancing Era, the news was the culmination of the three-year battle for Thomas Müller. It also made for an awkward photo op — and we are not just talking about Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidzic slow metamorphosis into a black market arms dealer:

Müller’s merits and accolades have been well-covered on this site and elsewhere, but what seemed to be blatantly obvious to some fans was largely ignored at the club from the time Carlo Ancelotti took through Niko Kovac’s departure. Simply put, Bayern Munich is a better team when the 30-year-old Raumdeuter is on the pitch.

For that, Bayern Munich needed to make a move to secure the player and give him the assurance that his future is now more important than his unforgettable past. For someone that has won a Champions League title, a World Cup, a Golden Boot, and also a player that has been at the helm of this incredible Bundesliga run of seven straight league titles, pushing past those “Glory Days” and entrenching him firmly into the team’s strategic vision for the immediate future was certainly not as easy as it should have been.

Müller’s deserved contract extension was not a reward for years of service or even a golden parachute of some sort; it was an acknowledgement that the player has much more to offer this season (if it ever starts back up) and over the following three years.

Through his performance on the pitch, his leadership in the locker room, and his marketing presence as one of the club’s all-time most visible and fan-friendly figures, Muller paved a new road forward for his career and set himself up for the extension that he has long wanted.

Since Ancelotti’s unfortunate tenure, Müller has not only shrugged off competition from La Liga imports James Rodriguez and Philippe Coutinho, but also evolved his game to the point where he can fill many roles effectively for the team.

Need someone to understand and maximize Robert Lewandowski’s production? Look to Müller.

Need a player to float out the win on short notice because the team is log-jammed in the midfield, while thin on the wings? Call Müller’s number.

Need a guy who can sacrifice part so his own game, so his teammates can flourish? That’s Müller again.

Most importantly, need a player to show the next generation what being a great teammate looks like and to provide constant examples of communication, leadership, and accountability? Once again, that man is Müller.

All of those attributes have made Müller invaluable to Bayern Munich.

Regardless of whether you count yourself among the #MullerMafia or not, the success and production that Müller has sustained cannot be denied. The only direction for both Müller and club was to let him do what he does best: scan the terrain, use his vision to find a way forward, and put himself and the club in the best position for success.

The last three years might not have been what he envisioned, but it also might have been necessary for the club to ultimately see the value of what it has in Müller. For both the club and its legendary player, the contract extension was a job well done.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bavarian Football Works Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Bayern Munich news from Bavarian Football Works