Bayern Munich took care of business in the Bundesliga by downing VfL Bochum 3-0.
It was not always pretty (in fact, the first half had a lot of choppy moments), but Bayern Munich never really let VfL Bochum sniff having a chance in the match. Here are some quick hitters on the match:
- Let’s start with a look at the lineup:
- Just about the only 50/50 call was Serge Gnabry over Kingsley Coman and Alphonso Davies, but it makes sense. Julian Nagelsmann probably wanted to have Coman rested for Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Joao Cancelo slid over to the left side, so Gnabry could fill whatever hybrid role the Germany international was filling on the right side.
- Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting should have done much better on an early cross from Cancelo. That’s kind of goal you need to score as a top-tier striker (which is why Bayern Munich still needs one).
- While I have never been inducted into the #MüllerMafia, it is hard to fathom how Nagelsmann had any thought to put Thomas Müller on the bench when games restarted after the World Cup. I like Nagelsmann, but that was a terrible decision. When the team desperately needed to play with some urgency, Müller was there to power the squad with sheer will and determination.
- Goretzka’s 44th minute header (from a Matthijs de Ligt header rebound) should have been buried. Goretzka needed to do way better with that, but said after the match that it was a difficult attempt.
- For the game, however, Goretzka was very solid in the deeper role that Nagelsmann wanted him to play.
- The first half effort was a little unfulfilling because the squad just was a little flat despite dominating possession. Even Jamal Musiala did not look like he was overly into the match (which is odd because the kids ALWAYS looks engaged). I do think the heavy workload and physical toll is having a little bit of an effect on Musiala.
- Coman and Gnabry (PK) each tallied second half goals, which gave Bayern Munich some much-needed breathing room.
- VfL Bochum never really seriously threatened Bayern Munich, which worked out nicely with PSG awaiting the Bavarians on Tuesday.
- Arijon Ibrahimovic looked great. He is definitely a player that fans can be excited for.
- Matthijs de Ligt and Benjamin Pavard were both excellent on the day. Dayot Upamecano was decent, but to me, the other two defenders were a bit better on the day.
- Overall, Bayern Munich did exactly what it needed to do. With PSG up next, staying healthy was imperative, but staying fresh was also key. Müller getting some rest was a good thing and with Joshua Kimmich (hopefully recharged), things are looking up! It will be very interesting to see what formation Nagelsmann uses against PSG — and which players make up the starting XI.
“King is an extremely important player for me and for us. He’s an exceptional player and character. That’s why from a coaching point of view, it makes little sense to sell him,” Nagelsmann said.
Coman has been a member of the club officially since 2017 (he played on loan with the club from 2015-2017) and has basically won everything. He could be getting the itch to leave (especially considering the crowded ranks on the wing at Bayern Munich), but he has not indicated that as of yet.
Given his stature on the squad, it would seem that he would have the ability to tell the club that he would like to go if he feels that way. Until that happens, it is business as usual.
With the presence of Joao Cancelo at Bayern Munich, Inter Milan thinks it could be in a spot to convince Noussair Mazraoui to make a move — providing Bayern inks Cancelo permanently:
Inter are ready to cash in on wingback Denzel Dumfries this summer and attempt to replace him with Bayern Munich’s Noussair Mazraoui, with help from Achraf Hakimi. As reported in today’s newspaper edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Nerazzurri are expecting to offload Dumfries for at least €50 million, with the Netherlands international keen to move to the Premier League, and his agent has already opened talks with Chelsea and Manchester United.
The funds will then be reinvested in a replacement, with Morocco international Mazraoui the preferred option of directors Beppe Marotta and Piero Ausilio, after they had previously courted him in 2021. A deal may be dependent on Bayern securing ex-Inter man Joao Cancelo on a permanent deal after his loan spell from Manchester City, with the Portuguese wingback limiting Mazraoui’s space in the team.
Mazraoui is only willing to leave the Bundesliga champions for a club with similar ambitions and would consider a switch to Inter, whilst the Nerazzurri could be aided by a positive reference from Paris Saint-Germain star Hakimi.
It seems a little early for Mazraoui to move, but a permanent signing of Cancelo could be unsettling for the former Ajax star.
Even with that, Bayern Munich likely has too much uncertainty with the futures of Cancelo and Benjamin Pavard to even begin pondering letting Mazraoui go.
It seems like Manchester United has all intentions of making Bayern Munich loanee Marcel Sabitzer a permanent member of the club during the summer transfer window:
Manchester United are prepared to sign Marcel Sabitzer permanently in the summer if he impresses during his loan spell. Although the loan deal does not include an option to buy, United have told Sabitzer there's a chance he could earn a long-term contract [@RobDawsonESPN] pic.twitter.com/ofESOI4TcZ— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) February 10, 2023
It is hard to envision a scenario where Sabitzer returns to Bayern Munich on any type of full-time basis. At most, his loan might end and the paperwork will indicate that he is a Bayern Munich player, but he will almost assuredly be sold this summer.
Of course, Bayern Munich will have to get by VfL Bochum in the Bundesliga before the mega match up, but there is plenty to talk about — even aside of the upcoming marquee tie. Let’s take a look at what we have on tap for this episode:
- Captain-gate: Is Bayern Munich set to replace Manuel Neuer with Joshua Kimmich?
- Looking at the transfer news of the week, including the stories on Benjamin Pavard, Erling Haaland, Randal Kolo Muani, and...Harry Kane.
- An early look at some storylines for Bayern Munich vs. PSG.
- Some thought on episode three of “The Last of Us.”
Former Bayern Munich prospect Timothy Tillman has inked a deal with LAFC:
Tillman, of course, is the brother of Bayern Munich loanee Malik Tillman.
There are also rumors from 90Min.com that LAFC has signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who could destroy MLS defenses if he’s motivated:
Los Angeles FC have agreed a deal in principle with Chelsea to loan forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 90min understands.
The Gabonese striker is unhappy with his current situation at Stamford Bridge, where he’s started just four of his 11 Premier League appearances so far this season since joining from Barcelona.
It’s understood a number of MLS clubs have expressed an interest in bringing Aubameyang across the Atlantic but - as reported by MLSsoccer.com’s Bogert - 90min understands LAFC have emerged as the frontrunner, finding agreement with Chelsea for the loan of the 33-year-old.
Other reports (Daily Telegraph via 90Min.com) indicate Aubameyang does not want a move stateside:
Graham Potter has insisted that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can still work his way back into the Chelsea fold despite his recent squad omissions. The Gabonese striker is a target for MLS champions LAFC but has no interest in a move to the USA.