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“Too many artists, too few fighters”: Didi Hamann questions Bayern Munich’s transfer strategy

Does the former Bayern man have a point?

Didi Hamann and Jens Dowe leap acrobatically in the air, a contested ball between them, from an old match between Bayern and Hansa Rostock.
Didi Hamann and Jens Dowe duel in their playing days
Photo by Vivien Venzke/Bongarts/Getty Images

By almost every account, Bayern Munich have had a transfer window to celebrate. They’ve spent big, but also judiciously, and brought in some marvelous attacking flair for both present and future. But not all of football is poetry, and former Bayern destroyer Didi Hamann argues that there’s still something missing to the squad composition shaped by the signings thus far.

Speaking on Sky Sports, as captured by Abendzeitung:

In a Sky media roundtable, the broadcaster’s expert claimed, “Too many performers are not good. I have the feeling that Bayern have one or two too many of them.” According to Hamann, the Munich team had indeed “bought well — on paper and in terms of names. Only you also need water-carriers and workers. You can’t just have players who want to go out in front and say: I’m the man. Whether they can get the mix right there, I’m curious.”

Food for thought, and perhaps there’s a hint there about what Didi thinks Bayern should do with regards to RB Leipzig defensive midfielder and reported transfer target Konrad Laimer.

Bayern have indeed purchased flowing, flourishing artistry this summer, with the likes of Ryan Gravenberch, Sadio Mané, and Mathys Tel poised to make sweet music on the field for the Rekordmeister years to come. But behind them, is there stability? Didi compares the situation unfavorably to that of chief rivals Borussia Dortmund, who may have lacked bite in their midfield last year but addressed it with the smart €5m purchase of 1. FC Köln’s Salih Özcan.

“Özcan himself, or at least this type of player, a worker, I would have also liked for Bayern,” Hamann said. “You need these players, this mix.”

But perhaps Hamann is underselling this current generation. He doesn’t rate Kimmich as a destroyer — perhaps recalling his own style and stature in the game — but Joshua is as fierce a leader as there is, the beating heart of Bayern’s midfield. Thomas Müller is a lion at the front, and sets the tone for a team full of relentlessness and ruthlessness. Gravenberch himself is an alternative style to Leon Goretzka, but few would have figured the lanky Schalke arrival to metamorphose into the hulking professional he is today.

Still, at present, it may be so that there’s not exactly a Bastian Schweinsteiger or Hamann himself in the ranks at the base of midfield. Are Bayern evolving towards a more elevated finesse, or missing the finer points of squad-building balance? We shall have to wait and see!

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