Well then. Here we are. One of the greatest players in the history of FC Bayern Munich is set to leave the club by 2023. Why am I so sure? Well, it’s obvious. The Bayern Munich board will simply not give Robert Lewandowski a pay-rise in any capacity. Meanwhile Lewandowski — or rather, his agent Pini Zahavi — is pushing for a pay-rise that would make him the most well-paid player in the history of the Bundesliga by a country mile, a figure in the ball-park of €600k/week. I see no future in which Lewandowski extends his contract in Munich, unless it involves the sacking of Zahavi, which is about as likely as Tommy Adams wearing a half-and-half scarf at a Manchester derby. For the purposes of this article, I will be assuming that the Bayern board hasn’t gone completely off the deep end and have at least managed to retain the services of Serge Gnabry on a new contract even without Lewandowski.
For those who need a refresher, the Mannschaft Planen series goes over holes — or potential holes — in the squad and looks at potential players who could fill that hole. The series does not look at rumours and specifically avoids players who have already been linked to the club (do not expect Sébastien Haller, Darwin Núñez, or the like here).
Alright, let’s dig into this one now. Just like the Gnabry replacement article, as there is still a chance these deals may never need to happen, likelihood will not be a factor that is taken into account.
How is no one talking about Martin Terrier?
The guy is cracked. One of the most exciting players in Europe this season regardless of position or age. Every time he gets the ball you can smell the blood in the water. He scores from every half-chance he can snatch, with his insane shooting being the key factor. He has the instincts, aerial ability and hold-up play of a striker but he is just as capable of spectacular long shots and linking up play across sides with smart lay-offs and diagonal runs. A truly unique player who would be perfectly comfortable in all three of our attacking positions. He has an astonishing 21 goals in 34 appearances in the league, and this is from an extremely efficient 2.3 shots per game, a truly efficient scorer. At 25 he still has many years to go, and will likely reach his prime alongside players like Gnabry, Leroy Sané and Kingsley Coman making for a formidable offensive unit.
Finances may not pose a major issue. While he is valued at €16m by Transfermarkt, his contract runs until 2025 and Rennes would not let a player in such form go for anything less than €20m. I’d say the price lies around €20-25m, but the wage package need not be anything extravagant or even above average in this squad.
Player Quality: 9/10
Potential Price: 8/10
TOTAL: 17/20 (85%)
Another player who has been severely underrated this season is Enes Ünal. Starting up top for Getafe, Ünal has turned so many games on their heads this season with late goals from behind. A pocket Karim Benzema if you will.
With 15 goals in 30 games, it’s not an elite return but it is certainly something to build from, especially considering he plays for a team fighting to survive relegation in Getafe. Factoring in his lone assist, he has played a part in 16 of Getafe’s 31 goals this season, which is a contribution above 50%. He turns 25 in a few days, so he is still young and so far the signs all point to a player who can become world class if he makes the right moves with his career.
Similar to Terrier, he has a long-term contract and is valued at under €20m, but Getafe would likely not let him go for anything less than that. A price of around €20m sounds realistic, as does a relatively low wage package.
Player Quality: 8/10
Potential Price: 7/10
TOTAL: 15/20 (75%)
Okay, okay, okay, I know what your first reaction is.
This is where the likelihood meter really begins to call out for help, but I have my reasons, most taken after deliberating with other people who both stand firmly on opposite sides of this.
Even at 37, Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best attackers on the planet. Manchester United reportedly will not hold him back from leaving this summer, with a transfer fee in the region of €20-25m. His wage package would be extravagant, but definitely not more than what Lewandowski is currently demanding, and Ronaldo could be willing to take a pay-cut down from the €28 million per season he is currently on since Bayern guarantees trophies and Champions League football at a high level. Plus, having the most well known human being on the planet amongst your ranks will bring multiple positives. The presence of Ronaldo in the locker room will definitely have the locker room behind the leadership group if Ronaldo is assimilated into it eventually, and his mentality is one that will breed more hard work amongst the younger unit. Ronaldo’s sheer presence amongst the ranks will boost Bayern Munich’s marketing value by orders of magnitude, and subsequently the marketing value of the Bundesliga. The Bundesliga’s marketing value increasing increases the value of all teams within it including Bayern Munich, and the positive cycle continues.
Likelihood: Trying to crawl out of its grave
Player Quality: 10/10
Potential Price: 6/10
TOTAL: 16/20 (80%)
What do you think? How hilariously wrong and naively optimistic am I about what a potential Ronaldo transfer would look like? The discussion forum is open as always.