Bayern Munich legend and former CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge admits he jumped the gun a bit when the club was hot in pursuit of midfielder Renato Sanches.
Sanches, who had a world of potential, but limited experience (and perhaps even less maturity) when acquired back in 2016, simply did not work out at Bayern Munich. Inconsistent on the pitch, inept while on loan, and disgruntled by the end of his tenure, it would be hard-pressed for anyone to argue that the club and the player were a good fit at that time.
Now, Rummenigge admits he — and the club — might have jumped the gun a bit.
“I think we got him a year or two too early. But back then we had to sign him. At 18, he was totally hyped in Europe. We paid €35 million, which was a lot of money, he was voted Golden Boy. But somehow the performances weren’t there,” Rummenigge said. “When Jupp Heynckes came back to replace Carlo Ancelotti, he wanted this player (Sanches). Jupp said, ‘I want this player back (from loan). I want to take this player to the level where he belongs’ — unfortunately we couldn’t bring him back due to FIFA regulations.”
Even with the admission that it all happened too fast for Sanches, Rummenigge thinks it still could have worked out if Sanches was able to get an extended run under Heynckes.
“I think Jupp Heynckes and Renato Sanches would have been an exciting project,” Rummenigge said. “I think with Jupp, Renato might still be playing in Munich today. I watched Lille against Wolfsburg recently and he was one of the best on the pitch, they won partly thanks to him.”
Sanches, of course, eventually move to Lille in 2019 and started the process of getting his career back on track.