I’m looking at my notes here and I think I’ve gotten my music sheets and article sheets mixed up because I keep seeing the word ‘treble’ over and over-sorry what? Bayern Munich won a treble right in the middle of the prime El Clasico era?
You already know what this article is, let’s see what the business was that led up to this, yeah?
- Javi Martínez from Athletic Bilbao for €40m (club record fee)
- Mario Mandžukić from VfL Wolfsburg for €13m
- Xherdan Shaqiri from FC Basel for €11.8m
- Dante from Borussia Mönchengladbach for €4.7m
- Mitchell Weiser from FC Köln for €800k
- Tom Starke from TSG Hoffenheim for free
- Claudio Pizarro from Werder Bremen for free
- Ivica Olić to VfL Wolfsburg for free
- Danijel Pranjić to Sporting Lisbon for free
- Nils Petersen to Werder Bremen on a one season loan
- Mitchell Weiser to FC Kaiserslautern on a six month loan (winter transfer)
- Pierre-Emile Højbjerg makes his first team debut.
- Hans-Jörg Butt and Breno retire.
Leiterkletterer: Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
It is strange how Bayern Munich went from having the best unit of defensive midfielders in the world to now having a defensive midfielder problem. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg was an impressive talent, being drip-fed first team minutes during his two year tenure at Bayern. Keep in mind that during this period he had to compete with the likes of Luiz Gustavo, Javi Martínez and Philipp Lahm. Højbjerg would be loaned out during the 2014/15 season to Augsburg and then to FC Schalke during the 15/16 season, not impressing massively but being a solid defensive midfielder, earning a move to Southampton for €15m in the summer of 2016, where he would impress highly and eventually move to Tottenham Hotspur in 2020 for €16.6m and become one of the most underrated defensive midfielders in the world as the pivot of Spurs’ progression and defensive shape both under José Mourinho as well as Antonio Conte.
Bring him back Brazzo, you know you want to.
Überschuss: Danijel Pranjić
Danijel Pranjić never got off his feet at Bayern, but was a serviceable team player. However, he would not negotiate a new contract in Munich, electing instead to leave for Sporting Lisbon. However, he could not find his feet in Lisbon either, being loaned out to Celta Vigo halfway through the 2012/13 season and would leave Sporting for Panathinaikos in Greece in the summer of 2013. A nothing stint in Greece led to his contract not being extended and eventually him ending up in Russia with FC Koper, who also were not impressed by him and let him go for free to Cyprus. Since then, Pranjić has bounced between clubs in the Cyprus football league before retiring in the summer of 2021. One of the journey-est journeymen of football’s career peaked with a three year stint at Bayern and it would not get any better.
Sehr Vermisst: Nils Petersen
Nils Petersen technically was not sold until the summer of 2013, but the fee Werder Bremen paid for him (€3m) was agreed upon in 2012/13 in the terms of the loan deal.
Nils Petersen joined Bayern with high hopes but departed in just a year after not getting proper game time behind the likes of Ivica Olić and Mario Gómez, joining Bremen and staying there until the summer of 2015 when after a half season loan at SC Freiburg, Freiburg would make the deal permanent for a fee of €2.8m. Petersen would contribute to 27 goals (18G, 9A) in two and a half seasons in Bremen before joining Freiburg where he would cement his legacy as one of the Bundesliga’s cult heroes, including a spell from 2016-2019 where he was one of the pack that consistently trailed Robert Lewandowski in the standings for the Torjäger-Kanone. He may not start for Freiburg anymore with the rise of Lucas Höler, but he will go down as one of the Freiburg faithful’s favourite players.
Reue des Käufers: Xherdan Shaqiri
Xherdan Shaqiri joined Bayern in the summer of 2012 for a fee of €11.8m from FC Basel but failed to make any spot on the first team his own in a two year stint, being sent out on loan to Internazionale in January 2015 which became permanent in the summer for a fee of €15m after he impressed in Milan. The Serie A outfit immediately cashed in on Shaqiri, selling him to Stoke for €17m. In a three year period in Stoke, he would play well and earn a move to Liverpool for €14.7m where he became a reliable backup for the forward line and became a national hero for Switzerland. Shaqiri became a reliable backup with a high standard of performances whereas Bayern had to make do with loaning players almost every season to cover the holes in the creative and wide department, including James Rodríguez, Philippe Coutinho, Ivan Perišić and Douglas Costa (nothing against these players’ performances, just that a permanent solution would have been better than trying to find constantly stop-gaps).
Neue Legende: Javi Martínez
Javi Javi Javi!
Javi Martínez was a club record signing when he joined Bayern from Bilbao for €40m, a transfer that was criticised by pundits and fans of the club. However, Javi proved all these notions to be unfounded, becoming the starting defensive midfielder under Jupp Heynckes and forming a much-needed base for the creativity of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller and co. to shine. Under Pep Guardiola he would be re-purposed as a centre back and continued to be consistent although injuries cut his seasons short sometimes. Under Carlo Ancelotti and Niko Kovač his time would be split across defense and midfield, but Javi stayed consistently great in his performances, including a spell from 2016 to 2018 where he was indispensable in Europe, managing to always turn up on Champions League nights, all this being in addition to good if not great performances domestically.
Javi’s game time would decrease as the years went on but he was still an important part of the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons, deputising for the oft injured Jérôme Boateng and Niklas Süle in the centre of defense. The Spaniard was an important part of two treble-winning sides, truly a legend in the annals of Bayern history.
Honourable mentions must go to Dante and Mario Mandžukić who were both excellent and are players I love but Javi Martínez must get this spot for his longevity in Munich.
What do you think of Bayern’s 2012 transfer window? Could the treble have happened if Bayern elected to keep the same squad that came ever so close to winning the treble just the season before? Let us know in the discussion below.