Former Bayern Munich midfielder and 1990 Ballon d'Or winner Lothar Matthäus commented in his column for Sky on Bayern Munich’s summer signing Sadio Mané, Noussair Mazraoui, and Ryan Gravenberch. He believes that especially Mané who is just moments away from signing his contract and officially joining Bayern Munuch will be a ‘fantastic’ addition, “not only for Bayern but the entire Bundesliga”.
“Mané is an exceptional player and a difference-maker. With Liverpool, he has provided goals and assists in such fashion and regularity, that has only been accomplished by a handful of players in the world over the past years,” Matthäus wrote. He continued his praise for Mane stating that the new signing “is also a wonderful ambassador of football for Senegal and did not just lead the team to the World Cup.” Evidently, Lothar is just as happy as everyone else at the Säbener Straße that wished for an impactful summer signing.
Now that Mané is close to putting his signature on the dotted line, the question remains where he will play under Julian Nagelsmann. Matthäus does not see Mané as a like-for-like replacement as a center-forward for Robert Lewandowski since he “plays on the left at the position of Kingsley Coman.” He goes on to write that “if (Serge) Gnabry and Lewandowski stay, there is an oversupply because (Thomas) Müller, (Leroy) Sané, and (Jamal) Musiala are also there. In the past, I have criticized the transfers and the depth of the squad. When two players got sidelined, the team lined itself up automatically and that is not Bayern-like” as even the bench players should bring enough quality to the team and play decisive roles when players in the starting formation fail to deliver.
“If Lewandowski ends up staying, which I do not see happening, after the statements and the lost trust, Mané has to play as a center forward, or the team raises the ante and invests the Lewandowski money including the salary into a true number nine à la Romelu Lukaku, who obviously will go back to Inter.” However, Matthäus still considers Lukaku the “only alternative to the Polish superstar. Or Nagelsmann pulls a Pep Guardiola and lets Bayern play with three strikers, but without a pressing center-forward” which would “deviate from the Bayern system” that has always had a “true number nine: Gerd Müller, (Giovane) Elber, (Claudio) Pizarro, (Miroslav) Klose, (Mario) Gomez, Lewandowski and many more”.
Lastly, Matthäus believes that “Ryan Gravenberch is a very good player and a top-class additional to (Leon) Goretzka and (Joshua) Kimmich” and he is also “excited about Noussair Mazraoui” and “hopes that as a right-back he will be stronger than (Bouna) Sarr” (me too, Lothar, me too…)
Il Grande has spoken. What are your thoughts on the recent Bayern signing and where do you see the strength of the team next season? Let us know in the comments below.