Kai Havertz to Bayern Munich has been the on again off again transfer saga that puts the will-they-or-won’t-they-ness of “Ross and Rachel” to shame. However, much like the drawn out love story from a certain late 90’s sitcom, this tale needs to be brought to a happy ending and fast.
Since making his debut for the German senior team at the age of 19 (and making his Bundesliga debut with Leverkusen at 17), Havertz has been making plenty of rounds in the rumor mill to play Bayern Munich. After all, he IS German, immensely talented, and versatile enough to play any position where Bayern might need him. Seems like a no-brainer. Just one problem (well two, actually). Does Kai Havertz want to come to Munich, and does Bayern want to get him?
Thought to be in pole position in the race to sign the 21 year attacking midfielder, Bayern has since cooled their interest. Stepping in to that void has been seemingly every team in the English Premier League with Chelsea being the current favorites. Eager to boost their attack currently led by the real American hero Christian Pulisic, Frank Lampard might also see an added bonus of sticking it to the club that came ever so close to prying away Callum Hudson-Odoi from them.
To make matters worse, Bayern boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge stated that Bayern can’t afford Leverkusen’s asking price. Lothar Matthäus however, has stated that Bayern COULD afford Havertz if Thiago Alcantara and David Alaba were sold. But is it worth it?
Yes. It’s absolutely worth it.
As difficult as it must feel for the fans to cut ties with two mainstays of this current team, it must be done if it will facilitate this transfer. Alaba and Thiago have been workhorses for Bayern since making their debuts in 2010 and 2013 respectively. Alaba, who’s made 382 appearances in his 11 years of service time and Thiago who might as well have the Bavarian Football Works Awards section named after him, however are also 28 and 29 years old and at least one of them (Thiago) seems to already have their foot out the door.
Alaba, a product of Bayern’s academy, faces the difficult position of having his replacement at left-back already on the roster. Alphonso Davies has turned in one of the most remarkable debut seasons by a young player for Bayern since, well, Alaba’s in 2010. It’s a cruel twist of fate, but it means Alaba, who still has a few good years left in his boots, can be sold for a tidy sum. Of the pair, the only one Bayern don’t currently have an adequate replacement for is Thiago, hence the necessity of a Havertz transfer.
Bayern is in a very interesting time, and I don’t mean because of the current global pandemic. They are both in the middle of a deep Champions League run with a good shot at winning the whole thing, and also in the middle of a youth movement. Out are the likes of Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Mats Hummels and possibly Javi Martinez. Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane, Benjamin Pavard, Lucas Hernandez, Kingsley Coman, Niklas Süle, and the aforementioned Davies have all either played a big role or figure to in the coming years for the squad and are all either 25 or younger.
Even youth products like Joshua Zirkzee (19) and Michaël Cuisance (20) have gotten a handful of appearances this year and availed themselves quite well. Veteran leadership is important, and Bayern will get plenty of that from the likes of Manuel Neuer, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller. But Bayern need a creative attacking midfielder with the pace to keep up with new young speedy wings and has the confidence on the ball to instigate the attack. Havertz has been doing this for years at Leverkusen. Just imagine what he could in Munich.
Selling Alaba and Thiago probably won’t net Bayern the estimated €71 million and €52 million, according to Transfermarkt. They would however, cover the transfer fee for Havertz. Or at the very least get Bayern close enough to the asking price where Rummenigge feels comfortable making up the difference. If this is indeed the case, then Bayern absolutely should pull the trigger and lock up one of the best young attacking midfielders in the world and one of the brightest German talents to come through the Bundesliga in a long time.