When the news broke that Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann could be working to engineer a reunion with Chelsea FC forward Timo Werner, you could hear the collective groan among some Bayern fans worldwide.
Werner, of course, has becoming a media whipping boy over the last season and many fans have lost faith in the former RB Leipzig striker. Before I get started in attempting to explain why a move for Werner could work for Bayern Munich, I want to preface the argument with a couple notes:
- Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland should be the first choice transfer target for Bayern Munich next summer bar none. Haaland is the next generation Robert Lewandowski.
- Getting Haaland (if it happens), would not preclude a move for Werner. Werner has a proven ability to play alongside another striker for Nagelsmann.
Now that we have gotten that out of the way, we can take a quick gander at why Werner-to-Bayern Munich could work:
- Julian Nagelsmann can get the best out of Werner: If there is one thing we have learned about Nagelsmann so far, it is that he appears to have the innate ability to make connections with his players and to draw the very best from them — just like Hansi Flick. Werner was at his best under Nagelsmann, which should account for something in this scenario.
- Werner will come at a discounted rate: Thanks to Chelsea’s lack of vision and squad planning, the London club has overloaded its roster with talented forwards; so much so that it has become unsustainable. Inevitably, Chelsea will be come enamored with another forward or two over the course of this season, sign those players, and create an even bigger logjam. If — likely when — that happens, we could see Werner on the discount rack.
- Werner won’t replace Lewandowski — no one except Haaland can: I don’t think anyone sees Werner as a like-for-like replacement for Robert Lewandowski. The only player on the planet tracking to be in that discussion is Haaland. In Nagelsmann’s new-age, position-less ideas for his attackers, Werner can fill many roles in the attack, including playing alongside a traditional hitman.
- We don’t know what Nagelsmann wants to do with his playing style: Nagelsmann is primarily using a 4-2-3-1 with this roster, but as older players begin their descent, will that stay the same? The new boss talks of versatility and flexibility with his players and his own formations. Could a back-three be a part of Bayern Munich’s future under Nagelsmann? How would that affect his group of attackers? Werner is a player he has a successful track record with using that type of alignment and also a player the coach has been able to let roam into different areas of the pitch.
- Coaches need to implement their own vision to ultimately be successful: As we saw with Niko Kovac and Hansi Flick, when a manager is unable to influence the strategic vision for the roster, they can never really do what they think is best for a club — and never feel like they have the full backing of the organization. If Nagelsmann wants Werner — and the player is affordable — sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidzic might have to pursue Werner, or risk alienating another manager.
In the end, this could all be rumor and innuendo, but there is at least some reason to think Nagelsmann is looking two-to-three years down the road at what he wants his attack to be. If Bayern Munich is truly invested in Nagelsmann, an acquisition of Werner might be a move the club has to consider.
Coman heading out?
With more news indicating that Kingsley Coman is ready to move on from Bayern Munich, it will be interesting to see how Nagelsmann uses the French winger moving forward.
The emergence of Jamal Musiala — and the hope that Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane can find consistency within their respective games at the club level — could have Bayern Munich poised to sell Coman after this season.
A January move would seem to be unlikely for Bayern Munich, who would likely not want to risk losing a key player at that juncture of the season. As for Coman, he allegedly wants to play in the Premier League. Perhaps this is the right time for the Frenchman to move on. Surely, Bayern Munich will want to sell him rather than risk losing him on a free transfer in 2023.
So...if you were thinking about getting a Coman “Alps” kit, you might want to invest in the jersey of another player.
Song of the Week: “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears
With the start of the Champions League upon us, it just felt right to break out this 80s smash hit from Tears for Fears. I am not sure I know anyone who dislikes this song:
ICYMI: Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 1, Episode 16
What a week it was for Bayern Munich players on international break.
There were plenty of wins and goals and perhaps an injury or two, but we’ve all made it to the weekend once again. Get ready for the next few days with Chuck....and JAKE! After weeks of promising to bring in a guest, Jake hopped on to give his takes on several pertinent topics. Here is what we have on tap:
- A quick look at the re-energized Germany squad and what this means under Hansi Flick moving forward.
- A discussion on the rumors linking Bayern Munich to both RB Leipzig’s Konrad Laimer and Chelsea FC’s Timo Werner.
- Assessing how Bayern Munich — with its weary legs — matches up with RB Leipzig and FC Barcelona.
The return home for Julian Nagelsmann and Marcel Sabitzer likely will not warrant a warm welcome, but Bayern Munich won’t be fazed by playing in front of 34,000 potentially hostile fans.
While there will certainly be some heavy legs on the Bayern Munich side, it just feels like the Bavarians are on the ascent, while RB Leipzig is still sorting out how to best operate under Jesse Marsch.
And while I think Bayern Munich will pull away in this one, I am excited at the prospect of watching Dominik Szoboszlai getting an opportunity to square off with the Bavarians once again.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-1 RB Leipzig
Other Bundesliga predictions include:
- Bayer Leverkusen 1-3 Borussia Dortmund
- SC Freiburg 2-1 FC Köln
- SpVgg Greuther Fürth 0-3 Wolfsburg
- Hoffenheim 2-1 Mainz 05
- Union Berlin 3-2 Augsburg
- Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 VfB Stuttgart
- VfL Bochum 1-2 Hertha Berlin
- Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-1 Arminia Bielefeld
You are getting a bonus prediction on the Champions League match-up as well!
The Bavarians will travel to Catalonia for a big Champions League opener and should be the favorites despite being the away team travelling to the legendary Camp Nou. This version of Bayern Munich figures to be a bad match-up for Barca and could lead to a lopsided win. I think the La Liga side will hunker down, though, and prevent another embarrassment from happening.
Prediction: FC Barcelona 0-2 Bayern Munich
Last Bundesliga Match Day record: 5-4
Overall Bundesliga record: 15-12
DFB-Pokal record: 1-0
DFL-Supercup record: 1-0
Overall record: 17-12
Guest prognosticator record: 0-1