Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer has been excellent this season despite his recent shoulder injury. However, that ailment once again opened the mind of the club’s brass and fans alike on what life might look like when Neuer finally retires.
When exactly that will happen for Neuer remains a mystery, but the club is already plotting its future — and that is with Alexander Nübel. The issue, though, is that Nübel’s patience seems to have worn thin waiting for his big chance in Bavaria.
Perhaps sensing as much — and probably reading Nübel’s recent quotes as well — the club’s movers and shakers (sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić and technical director Marco Neppe) paid the goalkeeper a visit in France.
According to kicker (as captured by @iMiaSanMia), the club is ready to allow Nübel to take over — just as soon as Neuer calls it a career:
Bayern see Alexander Nübel as their future number one and are thinking about a way to keep him at the club beyond 2025. Premier League clubs are interested in Nübel. It remains to be seen how the club would react if Manuel Neuer decided to stay after 2024.
With his contract expiring in 2025, Nübel could apply pressure on Bayern Munich to find him another loan assignment for next season at a minimum.
Salihamidžić seems intent on doing whatever it takes to keep Nübel in the fold, which includes helping him find consistent playing time — somewhere other than Bayern Munich — next season.
“We currently have Manuel Neuer who is outstanding. Neuer will definitely play another two or three years and Sven Ulreich will also be there. Alexander Nübel will not come back in 2023,” Salihamidžić told Sky90 (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “I don’t need to bring a competitor for Manuel Neuer. He’s our captain. He doesn’t need anyone to push him. We spoke to Alex about how he wants things to continue and at some point we have to make decisions. But we’re not there yet.”
Sky’s Florian Plettenberg thinks a loan for 2023/24 is likely the best option to move forward:
News #Nübel: Bayern wants to extend his contract beyond 2025! Nübel will only come back in the case he will be the No. 1 from 2024. Would mean: Another loan in 23/24. Nübel has to decide now. Monaco wants to keep him. Several clubs from England are interested. @SkySportDE— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) November 7, 2022
The two biggest questions remains:
1 - How much longer will Neuer play?
2 - Will Nübel stick around (in some capacity) long enough to eventually take over?
When looking at physical characteristics and playing style, Nübel appears to be about close to a Neuer clone as Bayern Munich is going to find. While Nübel’s performance has improved this season, however, he is a long way from being “The Next Neuer.”
Comparisons and expectations aside, what do you think? Can Nübel effectively become the “Next Generation Neuer?” Tell us what you think will happen in the poll below.
Will Alexander Nübel take over for Manuel Neuer?
This poll is closed
Yes - he’ll hang in until Neuer calls it quits.
Yes - but I’m not sure he’s going to be able to really fill Neuer’s boots.
No - He will leave before Neuer is ready to retire.
No - The more he plays, the more Bayern Munich will see he’s not the one.
Song of the Midweek: “Bandages” by Hot Hot Heat
This is one from my (relatively) “modern alt rock” collection. Released in 2003 by Canadian band Hot Hot Heat, I was immediately “in” on this song! Admittedly, I don’t know a ton about Hot Hot Heat, but this definitely is a song I can re-listen to (as I have for about 19 years! GAAAAH - I am so old). I should probably dig further into their catalog. Anyway, enjoy:
Sosa leaving Stuttgart?
VfB Stuttgart left-back/left wing-back Borna Sosa is set to leave the club this winter as Die Schwaben needs cash. VfB Stuttgart is banking on Sosa performing well at the World Cup to help drive up his asking price:
Excl. News Borna #Sosa: The 24 y/o left back is set to leave Stuttgart in winter. VfB HAS TO sell him due to the financial situation! The club is expecting €15-25m, depending on his performances at the WC! Ito = replacement. Medic is still a transfer target. @SkySportDE— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) November 7, 2022
Bayern Munich has been a fan of Sosa for quite a while and manager Julian Nagelsmann, in particular, is known to admire Sosa’s playing style. Could the Bavarians be in play for the Croatian?
Probably not, but there are a couple of conditions that could push Bayern Munich into the mix:
1 - As doubtful as it probably is, Bayern Munich could make a surprise play for Sosa if there is any inkling that Alphonso Davies might not re-up his deal when his current contract ends in 2025 (meaning the club would have to sell him 2024). This scenario seems very unlikely at this stage (though it is not totally inconceivable that the Canadian will look to Spain or England for the next step in his career).
2 - There is an overarching plan to use Davies — or even Sosa — as a winger. Bayern Munich does not need a winger, but that does not mean they would not add a talented winger.
Both scenarios seem very unlikely and it would seem that Sosa could move on from the Bundesliga altogether. Borussia Dortmund seems like a good fit, but it can be assumed that many clubs will have interest in the talented Croatian.
Time Killer of the Midweek
If you have been in a stadium any time in the last 15 years (maybe even longer), you have heard it. The song is widely-known as “Zombie Nation”, but that is actually the name of the artist. The song is “Kernkraft 400.”
Techno typically is not my bag, but I am a sucker for a crazy origin story. The song was born in Munich...and heavily influenced by a Commodore 64 game (!?) called Lazy Jones.
(Sidenote: I had a Commodore 64 — I think I was in 5th grade — and I used to play this baseball simulator and pit the 1927 New York Yankees vs. the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies (among other teams) ad nauseum. I learned a ton about baseball history from that game. Oddly, enough, a friend of mine also had a Commodore 64 and I believe he had Lazy Jones. It was a weird flashback/deja vu moment — and now I believe i actually played Lazy Jones whole at his house. Was this my “Keyser Söze” moment, where I drop the coffee cup? Probably...what a sad life, if so! Anyway, let’s get off this sidetrack and back on topic).
If you want to spend 15 minutes seeing how this song when from a computer game to the Munich disco scene to an Italian DJ putting a version together that blew up to every stadium in the world...it’s worth your time.
Despite an uneven showing against Hertha Berlin, Bayern Munich is going to smash Werder Bremen.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 69-0 Werder Bremen
Other Bundesliga predictions include:
- Wolfsburg 2-3 Borussia Dortmund
- VfL Bochum 1-2 Borussia Mönchengladbach
- VfB Stuttgart 2-2 Hertha Berlin
- FC Köln 2-3 Bayer Leverkusen
- Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 Hoffenheim
- RB Leipzig 2-1 SC Freiburg
- Schalke 04 1-1 Mainz 05
- Union Berlin 2-1 FC Augsburg
Hey, hey! Look who’s back!
- Last match day’s record: 8-1
- Overall Bundesliga record: 56-61
- DFL-Supercup record: 1-0
- DFB-Pokal record: 2-0
- Champions League record: 5-1
- WWU overall record: 64-62
- Guest predictions: 7-4