The best striker of the still-present generation will now be playing for FC Barcelona, leaving Bayern Munich — the club that always has a focal point striker — in uncharted waters. What are the best ways forward at forward? We polled the BFW staff (prior to the Mathys Tel announcement) asking for a variety of solutions, whether inside or outside the box.
As for the plans for this season, Bayern appear decided to try to make it work with a variety of less traditional nines — Sadio Mané, Serge Gnabry, Mathys Tel. But rumors persist that should this go less than swimmingly, sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić has his eye on the biggest fish of them all — Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
For the moment, then, the long-term picture is still very much murky. So, if you’re reading, Brazzo...
I think Bayern should sign Mainz 05’s Jonathan Burkardt. (That sound you hear is Frank_Mo on the sidelines releasing a dire “no, god, please no!” — but I digress —)
Why Burkardt? The Mainz striker is young (22), is a guaranteed starter in the Bundesliga under Bo Svensson, and most importantly, he’s an actual centre-forward.
Who has scored a bunch of goals against us.
The kid is passionate, he’s good on the ball, and has dramatically improved his game in the past few years — especially in areas like passing, holding onto the ball, and aerial prowess. He is capable of scoring goals in every style and is excellent at finding spaces.
At Mainz, Svensson expects endless pressing the moment the players get possession and emphasises careful and quick passing. The ball needs to be moved forward with haste. Having grown up in such a system, Burkardt is a rising German talent who will fit right in at Bayern.
After Mathys Tel signed for Bayern, I think Bayern should keep from signing any more forwards this summer. Because between Sadio Mané and Mathys Tel, Bayern have enough solutions in short and long term in the striker position.
In the short term, Mané can take the goal-scoring burden and, as he inevitably declines in a few years, Tel will be able to pick up the slack. The process may not be perfect and we’ll have to see if Mané can operate as a lone center-forward, but it is worth trying it out for at least a season.
And if Mané does struggle in that role, that’s fine. Bayern will still be able to add a new center-forward next summer, on the club’s terms and without having to panic late in the window.
The best answer is CR7. At least for the short-term.
This choice might be contrary to popular opinion, but hear me out. Whether you love him or hate him, he has an aura around him that elevates any team. He may not fit into Bayern Munich’s philosophy, but he is one of the greatest to ever lace up a pair of football boots.
While he can take over Lewy’s position for the next 1-2 years, Bayern Munich should buy Jonathan David from OSC Lille to play as a back-up for Cristiano Ronaldo. This role could help him gain more experience and turn him into a more prolific striker by learning from one of the best.
The prerequisite would be that Ronaldo lowers his pay expectations. He can always make up for that when he turns 40 and joins some Saudi Arabian club. If you ask me, this would be the ideal solution for the short- and long-term future.
Mathys Tel — all in on the youngster.
Mainly because the club won’t sign any other striker this summer. And Bayern are paying close to €30m for a 17-year-old kid who hasn’t even played an hour of top division league football.
Obviously, they have put lot of trust in him and so will I. Kid’s fast, agile, strong physique, good with the ball, has sharp finishing skills, basically all that good stuff. It’ll be interesting to see how things work out for him.
He won’t be the main man though as we have Mané now. But he’ll surely have chances to prove his worth this season without another established striker in front of him in the pecking order. He’ll have a season before a Kane or a Schick comes in.
‘Greatest French talent since Mbappé’, they say. Let’s see it then.
Forgive me if it’s a bit of a cop-out, but...they shouldn’t. At least not in a like-for-like sense.
Robert Lewandowski still is — in my estimation — the best striker in the world. Any realistic replacement for us would be a marked downgrade. Hoping to continue on with the same tactics but a much lesser player is a recipe for failure.
On the other hand, Sadio Mané and Serge Gnabry are world-class in that hybrid winger/striker/all-over-the-attack type of role. Given the choice between that and slotting in a lesser but “traditional” striker and asking him to do Lewy-things — that’s an easy decision for me.
Further, football isn’t just about goals scored — it’s about goal differential. Incoming signings Mazraoui and De Ligt should beef up the defense. Gnabry and Mané and crew may not combine for Lewy’s 50 goals, but if they are able to score 40 while the team conceded 10 fewer, are we really that much worse off?
R.I.P. London Teams
Let me preface this by saying that Club Brugge’s Charles De Ketelaere isn’t talked about enough these days.
The guy is 1.92m / 6’ 4” tall, can play both wings and down the middle as a striker or a second striker. He also has good pace and great shooting; a tall, white version of former Liverpool man Sadio Mané. His versatility gives our attack more flexibility, meaning they can interchange and cause havoc against opposing teams.
What’s more is he won’t cost a lot to sign at only €30 million, which means Bayern could have 100% afforded him; he’s also relatively young at 21.
Word on the road is Leeds and AC Milan are in the lead to sign the towering Belgian. With Brazzo’s recent antics, I reckon he could hijack the deal with around €40 million to have De Ketelaere wearing Bayern red in no time flat. Watch his career; we may kick ourselves for missing him.
There you have it! What did you think? Were there any big options who didn’t get a shout here, or do you fully expect the current path to succeed? Let us know in the comments below!
Lastly: Vote for BFW for Best Club Podcast!
If you enjoy reading or listening to us here at Bavarian Football Works, we’d really appreciate if you could drop a vote for us.
Our hard-working podcasting team got nominated for an award, but so did a number of other podcasts with big social followings. Now, others may have the backing of The Athletic, but we’ve got you — the biggest and best English-language Bayern community on Earth.
Voting ends July 31st and we’ll need every bit of enthusiasm to at least make a good fight of this! Thank you!!