Having already reviewed both the defense and the midfield, it’s time to take a look at how Bayern Munich fared in attack this Hinrunde. Julian Nagelsmann inherited an all-conquering offensive juggernaut from Hansi Flick this summer, and he didn’t have to do much to keep it clicking.
Still, scoring goals is THE most important thing in football — it’s kinda the point of the whole sport, if we’re being honest. So let’s take a look at how Bayern Munich’s forward line fared in their first season under Nagelsmann ...
Leroy Sane: A
Minutes Played: 1,816
Taking the title of “most improved player” this season, Leroy Sane is showing why Bayern Munich paid so much money to pry him away from Manchester City. Actually, I’d argue that Sane is a much more complete player today than he was City — the defensive side of his game has matured to the point that he’s almost as valuable without the ball as he is in possession. Check out this video of him tracking back to dispossess Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele to see what I mean.
It took a little bit of creative thinking from Nagelsmann to get the best out of Sane — he was shifted from the right wing to the left wing, and then allowed to drift further inside like a second attacking midfielder.
The only thing Sane could do to improve is to tighten up his finishing. Per FBRef, his actual goals scored lags behind his xG, which isn’t ideal. If Sane could figure out how to finish more consistently, then he’d probably be as unstoppable as Mohamed Salah.
Serge Gnabry: B
Minutes Played: 1,318
Serge Gnabry’s Hinrunde is a weird one to rate, because his performances weren’t exactly consistent, but in a way that’s not his fault. Now that Sane has monopolized the LW spot at Bayern, Gnabry usually deployed on the right — which means playing with Benjamin Pavard, who isn’t very good at the whole attacking business. In addition, with the coach’s experimental back-three formation rearing its ugly head this season, Gnabry was often forced to play as a wing-back instead of a true winger, hurting his performances even further.
He seemed to be picking up some steam near the end of the Hinrunde though, so hopefully he comes into form for the Ruckrunde. Gnabry has a knack for performing in big Champions League games, so Nagelsmann will need him if Bayern are to go all the way this year.
Kingsley Coman: B+
Minutes Played: 905
Kingsley Coman had another good Hinrunde — there’s really not much more to say. He’s a winger. His playstyle is pretty uncomplicated. He could probably get a lot more goals and assists if he improved his final ball, but that’s about it.
Malik Tillman: N/R
Minutes Played: 82
Tillman barely got any minutes this Hinrunde, but Nagelsmann seems to rate him as a first team player. If that really is true, then the coach should trust him to sub on at the tail end of games more often.
Robert Lewandowski: A+
Minutes Played: 2,145
I wasn’t going to give anyone an A+ for their performances in this Hinrunde, but you honestly can’t argue with his scoring numbers. Even if Lewandowski played like garbage in every game where he didn’t get a goal contribution (only four games all season) he would still deserve at least an A, because of the sheer consistency of his goalscoring. And as we all know, Lewandowski isn’t all about scoring — he’s probably THE most complete striker in the world.
Lewy’s performances are even more impressive when you remember that Nagelsmann is clearly trying to move away from having him as the focal point of the system. The wingers are much more important than they were under Flick, and there have been games where Lewandowski has been ignored completely.
In this case, it’s the coach who needs to rethink his approach. Robert Lewandowski is Bayern’s best player, and the system should be tweaked to get more out of him.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: D
Minutes Played: 248
Choupo-Moting got most of his goal contributions this season against an amateur side in the Pokal, and his stupid decision to not get vaccinated made him miss the final 1.5 months of the Hinrunde. Like Kimmich, he selfishly forced his teammates to pick up his slack, and for that he gets a very low rating.
Overall offensive rating: A+
Objectively, you can’t really criticize Bayern’s attack when the team is the top scorer both domestically and in the Champions League. Let’s see if that trend continues.
If you like seasonal retrospectives, then you might like the latest episode of our podcast. We talked about how Nagelsmann has fared so far, discussing the highs and lows of the Hinrunde. Check it out below or at this link.
As always, we appreciate all the support!