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Bayern Munich seasonal player ratings: The attack

Record numbers of goals scored. Can’t complain, really.

FC Bayern Muenchen Celebrates Winning The Bundesliga Photo by Arthur Thill ATPImages/Getty Images

So far we’ve reviewed the defense and the midfield, neither of which fared particularly well with hindsight. Now it’s time to look at the attack. Scoring goals was not a problem for Bayern Munich this season — in fact, the team only just fell short of last season’s 99 goal total in the league. Still, that doesn’t mean everyone was amazing. Let’s take a look at how each individual player fared.

Wingers

Kingsley Coman: B

Minutes Played: 2,085
Goals: 8
Assists: 6

Just looking at goal contributions, Kingsley Coman’s numbers look mediocre, but the Frenchman provides so much more than just goals and assists. His presence on the pitch is an all-round boost to his teammates, as they enjoy the freedom gained from the opposition marking Coman closely. He also doesn’t need fullback support to carry the ball and stretch the play, which offers flexibility to the coach when designing the system.

Coman’s most important quality, however, is his consistency. He was arguably Bayern’s most consistent winger this season, lacking the severe hot-and-cold fluctuations of his peers.

Bonus: He fired Pini Zahavi, so he gets an extra brownie point for that one.

Leroy Sane: B

Minutes Played: 2,977
Goals: 14
Assists: 15

Leroy Sane remains an enigma. In the midseason player ratings, he got a solid “A” rating for getting 11 goals and 11 assists in just 1,816 minutes, an average of 1.09 goal contributions per 90. Then, in the Ruckrunde, his numbers just nosedived. Sane only managed 3 goals and 4 assists in the second half of the season, averaging out to 0.54 G+A per 90, a 50% decline. In fact, from February onward, Sane only managed a single goal in thirteen league games.

What was the reason for such a sharp decline in his performance? Even Nagelsmann doesn’t know how to explain it. Right now, Leroy Sane is the biggest mystery at Bayern Munich.

Serge Gnabry: B-

Minutes Played: 2,748
Goals: 17
Assists: 10

Serge Gnabry’s main problem remains consistency. 27 goal contributions in 2,748 minutes looks like a lot, but then you take a closer look and see that Gnabry went 26 out of 45 games without a single scoring contribution. It’s always hot and cold with him. When he’s in the mood, he’s the best player on the team — arguably better than Lewandowski himself. But when he’s out of it, he’s a liability. Unlike Coman, when Gnabry’s not on the scoresheet, he’s mostly dead weight.

To be fair to him, Gnabry was picking up form near the end of the Ruckrunde, but by that point it was too late to save Bayern’s season from being anything but a disappointment. If he sticks around, he’ll have to try again next season.

Attacking midfielders

Thomas Muller: A-

Minutes Played: 3,565
Goals: 13
Assists: 25

Not a perfect season by Muller’s superlative standards, but he still filled the roles he was assigned and managed to remain the top assist maker in the Bundesliga for the third consecutive season. Bayern’s offense continues to rely on him to make the entire system click, and thankfully Julian Nagelsmann, for all his faults, recognizes that and mostly lets Muller do his thing.

His numbers are marred by a six game stretch in the league where he failed to register a single goal or assist, which also coincided with Bayern’s biggest slump in form.

Was it the prior coronavirus infection that slowed him down, or was there something wrong with the team’s setup? Regardless, his overall numbers remain world class and he’s unlikely to surrender his role as a starter for the foreseeable future.

Strikers

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: N/R

Minutes Played: 499
Goals: 9
Assists: 5

Choupo-Moting didn’t play enough minutes to deserve a rating but he’s proven himself to be a capable backup. Can’t ask for more than that.

Robert Lewandowski: A+

Minutes Played: 4,006
Goals: 50
Assists: 7

This is as good as it gets, folks. There is no better striker on earth. And now he wants to leave. If only the board could’ve started talks in December, we wouldn’t be in this mess.


Overall offensive rating: A

Early on, it looked like Bayern Munich was going to shatter expectations for goals scored in a single season. That ... did not happen. Somewhere down the line, the attack ran out of steam and simply could not muster the energy to break down coherent defenses. Individual brilliance seemed to supersede clever offensive tactics, especially in the Ruckrunde. The games against Villarreal were the ultimate reality check, where the limitations of the offense were exposed for all to see.

Now, with Robert Lewandowski’s future at Bayern Munich under threat, the future of Bayern’s bazooka of an attack looks uncertain. If Bayern loses its offensive lynchpin without some kind of adequate replacement, things could get very dicey next season.