We all love a bit of transfer business, don’t we? As Bayern Munich fans we’ve become accustomed to purchasing world class players for ridiculously low prices, but also to head-scratching deals that leave players with no clear career trajectory after. Let’s review our last few years of business!
Leiterkletterer: Mats Hummels
Mats Hummels has had such a strange career path, that path resembling a pendulum constantly swinging between Munich and Borussia Dortmund. He would start his career in Munich and work his way through the youth academy before finally signing his first professional contract during the 2006/07 season. He would not make his first team debut until the 2007/08 season, but he is still the best youth product to come out this season.
Überschuss: Paolo Guerrero
Being sold to Hamburger SV for €2.5 million after a disappointing couple of years in the Bayern first team, Paolo Guerrero would go on to make his mark in Germany before transferring to Brazil where he would spend the rest of his career. The Bavarians couldn’t have done him any favours if he stayed in the squad, so this wasn’t really a bad deal, but it was the least consequential for the Bavarians.
Sehr Vermisst: Michael Ballack
Michael Ballack is one of the greatest midfielders to ever put on the red, white and blue of Bavaria, and losing him on a free in the middle of his prime was a massive blow to the team. At Chelsea, Ballack would play 167 times, scoring 25 times and assisting 23 times from deep, eventually cementing himself as a Chelsea FC legend in his four years at Stamford Bridge before moving to Bayer Leverkusen — once again on a free — where he would eventually retire.
Reue des Käufers: Lukas Podolski
For our worst arrival of the summer, we have... LUKAS PODOLSKI???
I know, he was an amazing player, but his stint in Munich just wasn’t it. Transferring from FC Köln for €12 million in very Bayern fashion: one year left on the contract, cut-rate price. He would have an okay debut season, with injuries cutting it short, but would fall out of favour within a year or so after the arrival of Luca Toni, and would return to Köln for the exact price he arrived in Munich just three years later, with his career effectively having stagnated in that time. Who knows what Podolski could have become if he had an extra three years in the tank?
Neue Legende: Daniel van Buyten
Special mention to Mark van Bommel who would be an integral part of Bayern’s team, but van Buyten must get the nod as one of the most consistent centre backs in the history of the club. Transferring in from Hamburg for €14 million, much was expected of van Buyten and he would deliver, being Bayern’s primary choice for centre back from his debut all the way until 2013 when he would play a key part in Jupp Heynckes’ treble-winning 2013 team. Munich’s faithful would fall in love with van Buyten, and van Buyten would fall in love with Munich, retiring in 2014 after the expiry of his contract despite having offers from other clubs.
Overall, I think Bayern Munich’s business prior to the 2006/07 season was stellar, especially the three arrivals who were all extremely talented players bought for fair prices.
What do you think of this window? Could Bayern have treated Podolski better? Let us know in the discussion below.
This will be a weekly series. The next edition will publish at 6AM EST on Sunday September 11th.