Bayern Munich have had a productive transfer window. Arrivals and departures were present, and it’s usually sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić who is either praised or criticized. There is one other person who had a helping hand in assisting Brazzo in doing all the hard work: technical director Marco Neppe.
It’s understandable if you haven’t seen Neppe much these days because he likes to maintain a low profile and rather have his and Brazzo’s work speak for themselves. Both Neppe and Brazzo are responsible for Bayern’s activity in the transfer market. What Neppe and his team does is scout players, proposes them to the front office, and Neppe himself will be there to convince players to join Bayern.
In a rare interview with kicker (as captured by Tz), Neppe explains his work, which isn’t limited to signing players. “The popular belief is deceptive,” he says. He is responsible for “team and squad management.”
What interests many is what criteria Bayern has or what the club wants to see in a player. There are 10 qualities that a player for Bayern should have. “Mentality, resilience, communication, courage, and activity are included in the assessment. The market is scanned, the networks are tapped,” Neppe explained.
Neppe also said that he “doesn’t have a preference for a specific type of player” but is interested in a player with characteristics such as “passion, the will to win, body language and behavior when things aren’t going well in a game.” Former Liverpool winger Sadio Mané and ex-Juventus defensive stalwart Matthijs de Ligt are players that fall under this category.
In addition to the aforementioned characteristics, players with high decision-making skills grabs the attention of Neppe and co. “There are so many decisive moments in a game. A player with high decision-making quality has a tangible talent,” Neppe said.
With that in mind, Neppe’s team creates up to 100 reports on a player, which includes video clips and live viewing. “Observing it several times makes the difference”, Neppe said. Not everything goes to plan, however, as some players ultimately join other clubs, which is something Neppe dislikes but must embrace. “Not every player decides for FC Bayern in the end - that’s part of the job. When players decide to join other clubs, it’s massively frustrating. It pulls the plug,” said Neppe.