One of the biggest signs that a person is a fan or supporter of a club is if they know most or all of the club's roster. I, for example, pride myself in knowing Bayern's first team from front to back, but even the most dedicated fans can forget certain details or entire players, especially with the modern length of Fußball seasons. It can be easy to forget that Bouna Sarr is still in München, or that Sarpreet Singh (remember when he started a match in 2020?) is under contract and loaned out (I forgot until I read the recent loan update here on BFW!). With that being said, in this piece, I will be briefly covering every Bayern first team player this season. The player does not necessarily have to have a first team contract but they have to match at least one of the following qualifications:
- Has received a first-team contract
- Has appeared in a match as either a starter or substitute (friendly matches included)
- Was used as an unused substitute in at least one match (friendly matches included)
Keep in mind that former players that were sold during the season will still be counted based on the guidelines above, and by them, Bayern have had 39 players this season, not including João Cancelo, who at the time I write this, has not formally loaned in (club announcement pending). Konrad Laimer will also not be mentioned, as he will reportedly be playing for Bayern next season, not for the remainder of this one. Finally, let's get into the list.
#1 Manuel Neuer, Goalkeeper (Captain)
The GOATkeeper's position may be in question now more than ever, due to a skiing accident in early December. Regardless, Neuer is still one of Bayern's all-time greats, perhaps even better than the likes of Oliver Kahn and Sepp Maier.
#2 Dayot Upamecano, Defender
Following a turbulent first season, Upamecano has rooted down his position in the starting XI and has become the leader of the defense. His role has become even more prominent following the injuries of Manuel Neuer and Lucas Hernández.
#4 Matthijs de Ligt, Defender
One of Bayern's primary signings during the summer, de Ligt has been solid in his time with the club so far. Fitness issues plagued him early (thanks, Juventus), and now he may be in legal problems (thanks, Juventus). Like Upa, his job becomes even more important with Hernández out.
#5 Benjamin Pavard, Defender
Where do I begin? Once viewed to be Bayern's future in defense, the right back/center back has seemed to have his mind out in Barcelona since September. With the emergence of Mazraoui, all signs point to him departing the club this summer.
#6 Joshua Kimmich, Midfielder (3rd Captain)
The player once viewed to be the next Lahm is indeed becoming the next Schweinsteiger. His promotion to 3rd Captain displays the fact that he is a bulwark in midfield, and the manager not dare remove his name from the Starting XI.
#7 Serge Gnabry, Winger
The main thing Gnabry has lacked in his career is consistency. It seems as though either the man is scoring 3 a game or one every thirteen games. Where's a London team when you need them?
#8 Leon Goretzka, Midfielder
Goretzka is one of the world's best midfielders when fit in my opinion, but the problem is, injuries have plagued him over the past few years. You have to wonder how much of a beating his body will be willing to take, and constant injuries could eventually push him to an early retirement.
#10 Leroy Sané, Winger
Many supporters of Die Roten were long awaiting Sané to finally reach superstar potential, and it seems that he's nearly there. His biggest flaw, many would agree, is his finishing. Sané's shots are either with pinpoint accuracy or wildly off the mark.
#11 Kingsley Coman, Winger
Like Sané, finishing has been a problem for this speedy winger. Great at stretching the field and helping defensively when needed, Coman has proven to be worthy of the starting XI. Regardless of where his career leads, Bayern fans will remember him forever for scoring a certain goal in Lisbon.
#13 Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Striker
An unsuspecting replacement for Robert Lewandowski, Choupo has risen to the occasion of being the target man in the middle for Bayern. The way he's been playing, there is no need to burn money on Harry Kane during the summer. The biggest question is, how long can it last?
#14 Paul Wanner, Midfielder/Defender
The versatile, bright, young star is the gem of the youth academy at the moment. Capable of playing on the wing, in midfield, or even at left back, Wanner could see a drastic increase of first team minutes over the next year or so. With the signing of Daley Blind and reported loaning in of João Cancelo, Wanner will likely see most of his minutes in midfield this year.
#17 Sadio Mané, Striker/Winger
The biggest signing of the summer, the former Liverpool man got off to a fast start in Bavaria. A bout of poor form followed, and a devastating injury kept him out of the World Cup. Let's all hope for a fast recovery, because Sadio is a beast when fit!
#18 Marcel Sabitzer, Midfielder
In the season that Sabitzer has finally found his footing, the club has signed more midfielders. The reported addition of fellow Austrian Konrad Laimer next summer may force him out, but Sabitzer is a solid rotational player for the club, and I sincerely hope that he sticks around.
#19 Alphonso Davies, Defender
The "FC Bayern Roadrunner" owns the left flank, and pairing with wingers such as Leroy Sané, Jamal Musiala, and Kingsley Coman can be deadly for opposing defenses. General consistency has been one of his greatest traits thus far in his career, and he still has a number of years before he has reached his prime.
#20 Bouna Sarr, Bench/Defender
Yes, he's still here, despite not playing a single minute this season. The closest he got to playing was being an unused substitute for three matches early in the season, before he suffered an injury that he's just now recovering from. I actually believe he should be tested as a winger, as he could bring something going forwards. It's unlikely, though, because of the sheer depth on this team.
#21 Lucas Hernández, Defender
Prior to his injury, Hernández was one of the best defenders on the planet. His sheer will is enough to turn games around, but a devastating ACL injury in the World Cup ended his season. It remains to be seen if Hernández can reach his pre-injury form in the future, though. ACL injuries can be very difficult to recover from.
#23 Tanguy Nianzou, Defender*
Nianzou was sold early in the season, but not before he appeared in a couple of friendlies in the Audi Summer Tour. The 20 year-old Frenchman, who currently plays with Sevilla, still has plenty of time to develop and grow. Bayern even has a buy-back clause on him, if I'm not mistaken.
#23 Daley Blind, Defender
Signed as a depth option in defense, Blind brings forth numerous capabilities to Bavaria, in addition to his experience. Even if he plays about as much as Álvaro Odriozola, Blind's leadership qualities should be helpful to the team as a whole.
#25 Thomas Müller, Midfielder/Striker (Vice Captain)
Despite injury struggles this season, Müller seems to be the missing puzzle to the club. Coaches cannot bench him, or risk being fired. The saying goes, "no player is bigger than the club," but Müller IS the club! He embodies the Bayern way, more so than any player that has ever worn the club's colors.
#26 Sven Ulreich, Goalkeeper
All signs pointed to Ulreich being our staring keeper following Neuer's skiing accident and a breakdown of talks with 'Gladbach over Sommer, but Sommer was brought in eventually, giving the fanbase a huge sigh of relief. If anything happened to Yann, we should all feel safe with the keeping job in such experienced gloves.
#27 Yann Sommer, Goalkeeper
Getting Sommer seemed like a Godsend at the time, but three draws later, some fickle fans are starting to question the signing. I, for one, feel as though bringing him to München was a necessity, and may single-handily save our season (as much as I love Sven). I can't wait for his first clean sheet!
#28 Gabriel Vidović, Midfielder*
Loaned out early in the season, the promising Vidović was able to play in a rout of Bochum, and even got an assist to his name. When he returns next summer, he will likely fight Paul Wanner and Arijon Ibrahimović for minutes, as Bayern is currently loaded with young attacking stars.
#32 Joshua Zirkzee, Striker*
Yes, Zirkzee was on the squad early this year. Most remembered for his winning goal on his Bundesliga debut in 2019 and missing an open net in a friendly match, Zirkzee has moved on to Bologna, where he has struggled to get minutes (1 goal, 1 assist in 8 Serie A appearances).
#35 Johannes Schenk, Goalkeeper
Schenk is the club's third choice keeper again with the signing of Yann Sommer. His lack of experience would concerning if his name ever got called, but barring something bizarre, it likely never will. If I had to guess, the 20 year-old's career will probably follow the same trajectory as Christian Früchtl's.
#36 Justin Janitzek, Defender
Janitzek has yet to play in-game for the club, but at the rate of all the injuries in defense, it may come soon! All jokes aside, Janitzek is only 18, and has plenty of time to develop into a first-team worthy player. It will be very fascinating to watch his career path.
#37 Gabriel Marušić, Defender
Like Janitzek, Marušić (a year older than the former) is a promising center back who could break into the senior squad in the future. He battled with injuries early on in the season, so that could be something to watch as his career progresses.
#38 Ryan Gravenberch, Midfielder
Gravenberch has struggled to receive playing time in a crowded midfield room with Kimmich, Goretzka, and Sabitzer. His enormous potential is clear, but will he go the way of Corentin Tolisso or Renato Sanches? We hope not.
#39 Mathys Tel, Striker/Winger
When you watch this kid, it's hard to believe how young he is. The physicality, shot power, and confidence he displays reminds viewers of Erling Håland. His future may be one to behold, as he is part of the club's next generation.
#40 Noussair Mazraoui, Defender
Get well soon, Maz! When fit, Noussair Mazraoui is one of the top right backs in the world. He is also capable of playing an emergency left back role, as he displayed in the World Cup, which is when he suffered health concerns.
#41 Tarek Buchmann, Defender
An unknown until a solid, if not stellar performance in a friendly, Buchmann is one of many promising young center backs in the FC Bayern Campus at the moment. As one famous character once said, "We will watch your career with great interest."
#42 Jamal Musiala, Midfielder/Winger
Musiala has the potential to make the 42 shirt as iconic as Schweinsteiger's 31, if that gives you any idea of his skill and potential. He has written his name in the starting XI in solid black ink.
#43 Adrian Fein, Midfielder*
Believe it or not, Fein was still with the club under contract during the Audi Summer Tour. He did not play in either of the two friendly matches, but instead watched from the bench. He now plays for Excelsior Rotterdam, where he has been a rotational player.
#44 Josip Stanišić, Defender
This is the type of player that every good team should have. Unspectacular, but spectacularly solid, "Stan the Man" can play across the entire back line, and even in defensive midfield if needed. With all of the injuries this season, Stanišić's value to the team has, and will continue, to skyrocket.
#45 Jakob Mayer, Goalkeeper
Mayer was brought along to the United States for the Audi Summer Tour as a third goalkeeper, but was an unused substitute for both friendly matches. He has been passed by both Schenk and Tom Hülsmann (who has trained with the first team recently). The 21 year-old does not appear to have a future with the first team whatsoever.
#46 Lucas Copado, Striker/Winger
After playing a match for the senior team last season and being called up for Bayern's Audi Summer Tour, some viewed this as a potential breakout year for Brazzo's nephew. Instead, Copado has retained his role as a key player for Bayern II, who have sadly struggled mightily this season.
#46 Arijon Ibrahimović, Winger
A young man with lots of promise, Ibra had no problem integrating with the senior team players against Salzburg (friendly match), even scoring a banger. His upside is greater than almost anyone else's in the club's youth academy.
#47 David Herold, Defender
Herold was brought along to the United States over the summer, and got a few minutes of action against D.C. United as a late sub for Matthijs de Ligt. Sadly for him, a defensive error cost his team a goal, and he played a part in that error. He was nearly brought to Doha for the Winter Training Camp, but was cut at the last moment along with Eyüp Aydin and Justin Janitzek.
#47 Lovro Zvonarek, Midfielder
A decent amount of hype surrounded his name when he transferred here this past summer, but it soon fizzled out. A regular with the reserves, over time Zvonarek is likely to progress and still has plenty of star potential!
#48 Yusuf Kabadayi, Winger
A young player with an uncertain future, Kabadayi had a solid outing in a friendly against Salzburg. A path to the senior team is a long one, and it seems to be long odds for him at the moment.
*Not currently on the team
This took a long time to research & write, so hopefully you enjoyed reading it (the word count is 2,348!).
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