At an age where the financial dominance of the Premier League has every other club on earth operating at a disadvantage, Bayern Munich was able to acquire, loan away, and sell its way to a monster of a roster, developmental opportunities for its youngsters, and capitalize on good value for players with no hope of playing time on their own roster.
While he has sometime drawn the ire of fans, sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić appears to have hit a home run. Let’s take a look at the ins-and-outs of the transfer window:
- Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus): €67 million — A long-term target of Bayern Munich, Brazzo got his “dream transfer” for the backline, who immediately eased any fears about what might happen after Niklas Süle left for BVB.
- Sadio Mané (Liverpool): €32 million — Good value for a high performer, who has been a great fit in the wake of losing Robert Lewandowski.
- Mathys Tel (Stade Rennais): €20 million — This was one of the most curious moves. By many accounts, Tel has great potential and was worth the gamble. Will it pay off in Munich or will Tel eventually be sold off for big fee? Right now, it looks like Tel has a lot to offer.
- Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax): €18.5 million — A quality move, who — at a minimum — should see his value increase. How and where Gravenberch actually fits into the squad in the long-term remains to be seen. The midfield is a bit crowded at this point, but he looks to be an excellent talent.
- Noussair Mazraoui (Ajax): Free transfer — Great value (obviously), but has been unable to push Benjamin Pavard out of his starting position.
- Robert Lewandowski (FC Barcelona): €45 million — A tough loss no matter what anyone says, but it was unavoidable. The striker simply wanted to move on.
- Tanguy Nianzou (Sevilla): €16 million — With little-to-no chance for playing time at a juncture in his career where he desperately needs it, Bayern Munich had to cut ties with Nianzou for the betterment of the youngster — and did a good job of getting paid in the process.
- Chris Richards (Crystal Palace): €12 million — This one hurt because Richards had such a high ceiling. The acquisition of De Ligt, however, almost necessitated a sale of Richards to the highest bidder. I’d expect him to show he is a top talent in the Premier League.
- Marc Roca (Leeds United): €12 million — One of the more puzzling and forgettable transfers in recent memory. Roca was not as good as advertised and never really fit in under Hansi Flick or Julian Nagelsmann. For his own career, this move was desperately needed and it provided an opportunity for him to get back on track.
- Omar Richards (Nottingham Forest): €8.5 million — Richards’ initial move to Bayern Munich made no sense given his age and the minute chance he would be able to unseat Alphonso Davies as the starter. In the end, it was a good business deal for Bayern Munich as Richards arrived from Reading FC as a free transfer.
- Joshua Zirkzee (Bologna): €8.5 million — With role on the current squad, Zirkzee’s best bet was to find a landing spot where he could play immediately and prove himself.
- Lars Lukas Mai (FC Lugano): €1.6 million — Mai’s development did not quite hit the levels that might have been previously anticipated. A permanent change of scenery was the ideal move for the youngster.
- Christian Früchtl (Austria Wien): €500K — Früchtl never developed into the “Next Generation Neuer” that many had hoped for.
- Ron-Thorben Hoffmann (Eintracht Braunschweig): €300K — Hoffmann had reached a point where he needed to try his hand elsewhere.
- Niklas Süle (Borussia Dortmund): Free transfer — Süle wanted to move one. Things had soured between the player and the club’s management. It was a disappointing end to what initially looked like a good, long-term relationship.
- Corentin Tolisso (Olympique Lyon): Free transfer — Tolisso’s injury-riddled Bayern Munich career ended, but it was a necessary change of scenery.
- Adrian Fein (Excelsior Rotterdam): Free transfer — Fein had no future with the club and needed to move on.
- Gabriel Vidović (Vitesse): Excellent location for the youngster and he should get a chance to excel.
- Malik Tillman (Rangers FC): Tillman is already showing he can play with Rangers.
- Bright Arrey-Mbi (Hannover 96): A relatively last minute move that was more out of desperation than anything, but H96 should at least provide an opportunity for Arrey-Mbi.
(Transfer info and financial figures were abstracted from Transfermarkt)
Sure, some folks might lament not being able to get RB Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer, but the current depth at the position (Joshua Kimmich, Marcel Sabitzer, Leon Goretzka, Gravenberch) seems pretty darn good.
Otherwise, the initial thought here is “all hits, no misses”, but time will ultimately tell the story.
How would you grade Bayern Munich’s transfer window? Tell us in the poll below and in the comments.
How would you rate Bayern Munich’s summer transfer window?
This poll is closed
5 - It was perfect.
4.5 - It was near-perfect, but there were too many free transfers away, which was the result of poor planning.
4 -It was really good. There were some things I’d have changed, but I can’t complain.
3.5 - A very nice job by the squad planners, but I worry about the quality of depth in certain areas.
3 - It was good, but I am not ready to anoint anyone the savior of Bavarian football just yet.
2.5 - Meh, I liked some things, but some player mismanagement and poor communication led to situations like we saw with Lewandowski, Süle, and Tolisso.
2 - It was poor. I did not like the signings they made and/or losing the players that left.
1.5 - What a mess. for a few more million Bayern could have gotten Laimer and/or other players who would have helped.
1 - Absolute disaster class that will hinder the club for years.
Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast — Season 2, Episode 9
Bayern Munich once again could not find a way past Borussia Mönchengladbach and settled for a draw, but rebounded with a nice win over Viktoria Köln in the DFB-Pokal.
Even with all of the action on the pitch, there was still a lot to talk about off of it. Let’s take a look at what we have on tap for this episode:
- Assessing the club’s performances against Gladbach and Viktoria Köln.
- Bayern Munich’s depth is incredible.
- It’s a matter of time before Matthijs de Ligt is an anointed full-time starter.
- Daydreaming about a Bayern Munich vs. Manchester City Champions League finale.
- A look at Bayern Munich’s transfer window.
Song of the Week: “Itchin’ on a Photograph” by Grouplove
This is the second time I’ve featured a Grouplove song, so you could probably guess I’d admire their work a bit, eh? Previously I had “Deleter” as one of the songs of the week way back in February 2021, but this particular tune was released back in 2012 (Dude — I am getting so old because this literally feels like yesterday and it was 10 YEARS AGO) and it has always struck a nice chord with me.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do:
House of the Dragon
The second episode of the Game of Thrones prequel was better than the premier, but still struggles with pacing and rushed storylines. Truthfully, there are A LOT of issues with the show, but as far as entertainment goes, it passed the test for episode two.
There are some good possibilities for how the storylines will play out. The biggest problem I have is that things have already escalated to near-war status for two brothers and we are about to enter yet another extended time hop.
Admittedly, I did not think I would get to the point of being intrigued by this show (after the Game of the Thrones scorn), but here I am.
Here are some other quick hitters on the show:
- Matt Smith’s Daemon Targaryan continues to be the character the show probably should revolve around (at least in this early stage). I need to know more about his reckless and unruly persona and why his brother so quickly cast him aside.
- I cannot tell if Viserys Targaryan (Paddy Considine) is a more naive Ned Stark, a genuine “good” Targaryan, or an easily influenced dolt.
- The Crabfeeder storyline did suck me in. That captured my interest for sure.
- I know it’s fantasy and it’s not real, but one thing that is cringey is the whole marrying underage kids thing. I have a hard time watching that. Watching a crab nibble away at a dying sailor...sure! Seeing an old dude talking to a young girls...awful! That scene with Viserys Targaryan and Laena Velaryon was difficult to watch, just on the concept that marriage like that could happen even in a fictional world.
- What made Game of Thrones so intriguing at the beginning (aside of the excellent writing and casting) was the thought that every army and conflict was being fought on equal footing. Having the dragons as a dominant force kind of mutes the ability for intrigue when it comes to battles.
- Overall, I am in, but I am still skeptical.
Bavarian Podcast Works: Preview Show — Bayern Munich vs. Union Berlin
It was just last weekend that Bayern Munich faced then-second-placed Borussia Mönchengladbach. Now, die Roten would again have to face the team at the #2 spot in the Bundesliga table, Union Berlin. Union’s attack has been imperious this season, scoring a whopping 11 goals, second only to Bayern. With 3 wins and a draw, they find themselves tied on points with Bayern Munich, and the winner would be clear at the top of the table.
This mouthwatering fixture has all the elements of a blockbuster showdown. As always, everything you’ll require to prime yourself for the game has been covered in the pod, including the following:
- Union Berlin’s form, and why they are so fearsome.
- Bayern Munich’s form and recent fixtures.
- Reflection (more like a state of denial) on Bayern’s most recent Bundesliga game.
- Union Berlin’s key players.
- Union’s lineup and preferred tactic(s).
- Bayern Munich’s lineup and potential changes.
- Nagelsmann’s approach and tactics for the game.
- A final scoreline prediction.
One thing that I have admired about Union Berlin in recent season is how they team typically does not shy away from trying to slug it out with league powers like Bayern Munich. In a lot of ways, that fearless style of play seems to carry over to when Union plays lesser squads.
I’d expect Bayern Munich to avoid looking ahead to its Champions League showdown against Inter Milan on Wednesday and win the match...but Union Berlin will go down swinging.
Prediction: Union Berlin 1-3 Bayern Munich
Other Bundesliga predictions include:
- Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Hoffenheim
- Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 SC Freiburg
- VfL Bochum 1-2 Werder Bremen
- VfB Stuttgart 0-1 Schalke 04
- Wolfsburg 2-1 FC Köln
- Eintracht Frankfurt 2-3 RB Leipzig
- FC Augsburg 2-1 Hertha Berlin
- Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-0 Mainz 05
Champions League Prediction
Bayern Munich will be squaring off with an Inter Milan side that will not be operating at full capacity, but still a side that can be dangerous. That said, the Italian club is still far behind the Bavarians at this stage of the season. Most of the intrigue will be on who Nagelsmann decides to feature in the starting XI. If Inter Milan decides to try and go punch-for-punch with Bayern Munich, it likely will not end well for the Serie A power. Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-0 Inter Milan.
Things got better last week...can the run of luck continue?
- Last week’s overall record: 7-3
- Bundesliga record: 18-18
- DFL-Supercup record: 1-0
- DFB-Pokal record: 1-0
- Champions League record: 0-0
- WWU overall record: 20-18
- Guest predictions: 7-2