(Author's Note: If you've been reading my works then you know there's no Muller_Era post without some wackiness. But I think this piece has been approached in the way it should have. I'll also be quick to let you know; this was completely unplanned as far as my upload schedule is concerned, but I wrote this a few days back and have been thinking about whether to post or not. Now that I have finally mustered up the courage to post, here it is and I'd love to hear about your favourite Tolisso moment in the comments.)
An amazingly talented guy, versatile and has arguably done put on some fantastic shifts in his 5 years here in Bavaria. Signed for a then-record fee of €41.5M, it was obvious that Bayern saw something special in the Frenchman.
"Tolisso is a bit like Kroos in terms of his style of play. He can defend, he can attack, and he can play an important role in midfield. He has great technique, is dangerous in front of goal and can also make goals."
- Jean-Pierre Papin
His first season under Ancelotti was pretty great, he did score ten goals and assist six. He even had an incredible debut, a 3-1 win against Leverkusen where he not only made it on the scoresheet but also was conferred the Man of the Match.
(Though I do have a problem with how Carlo preferred to play him as a #6, which is not a good idea since he is average at best, as a holding midfielder.)
Under Jupp (after Carlo's sacking) he really cemented himself in the midfield with fantastic performances like the 3-1 win against PSG, where he scored a brace. Jupp had nothing but praise for the midfielder.
"He always plays well when called on. He runs hard, he's aggressive and clinical in front of goal. He's a huge talent with so many qualities. He's going to be invaluable to Bayern."
Tolisso was not a regular starter for the French side that won the 2018 World Cup but showed lots of promise during his cameos. Though he had a rough start, with a pretty bad performance against Australia, he improved vastly in the subsequent games. He was most crucial in France’s 2-1 win against Uruguay. He went on to assist Griezmann’s long-range strike which was France’s second goal that game. In the semi-final game against Belgium, he featured off the bench, subbing in for Matuidi and had an excellent scoring opportunity, which was unfortunately denied by Courtois.
Coco returned to Munich, a world-cup winner. And then tragedy struck.
15th September 2018. Bayern Munich vs Bayer Leverkusen.
Tolisso set Bayern up and firing as he scored the opener. Sometime later, while trying to regain possession from Kevin Volland, he went down, clutching his knee. He got taken off the pitch. And that, my dudes, is how Coco got his infamous ACL. It was almost like the gods that supported Leverkusen had exacted their revenge on the player that ruined their very first matchday in 2017.
A year without Tolisso.
Many were advocating that he be sold. But Bayern stood by him, and he made an incredible recovery.
25th May 2019. Coco was substituted on for Javi in the Pokal-Finale against RB Leipzig. The Olympiastadion roared as he set foot onto the pitch in the 68th minute. The game ended 3-1 and while Coco’s performance wasn’t the most memorable part of the game, it was a memorable day, for it marked his return after a shocking 251 days.
But beyond this, there was not much spectacle. The odd banger of a performance, followed by a few bouts of ghosting (in nicer words, dissatisfactory performances) and then another injury. I personally don’t want to talk about his career past 2019 because it’s just one injury after the other and trust me, this is not good for my mental health. I could talk about his good performances, off the top of my memory, the DFB Supercup game against Dortmund in 2020, Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, but come on, the moment I go digging for fact-checking, all I find are "Tolisso injured" headlines.
A player that could’ve once easily been the Bundesliga’s most talented young midfielder has been a foot out the Bayern Munich door for a while now. Is it depressing? Totally.
But, alas, this is the profile of a good number of present Bayern players. A never-ending list of injuries, bouts of talent, at least a teeny-tiny amount of ghosting and most importantly, bucket loads of ‘what if things could’ve panned out differently?’.
Danke, Tolisso. You were a good one. Whether it was my days on Twitter I heavily backed you and spammed #TolisssoComebackSzn or my days post- Twitter when I just accepted, with a heavy heart that you're leaving sooner than later, I've been a proud member (read: vice-president) of the Tolisso fanclub.
Servus, und auf Wiedersehen.
Thanks for reading.