Bayern Munich’s Champions League knockout contest against Paris Saint-Germain might have easily looked very different had the Parisians maneuvered more precisely at the close of the January transfer window.
The German Rekordmeister played part of the first leg against a PSG team missing Kylian Mbappé, and now Neymar Jr. is a doubt for the second leg in Munich. Christophe Galtier will have to scour his roster for answers and decide if a more conservative approach will still be the way forward.
But that roster might have been significantly more stacked. Inter Milan center-back Milan Škriniar is arriving at Paris in the summer on a free — but only because PSG were ultimately unwilling to pay the Italian club’s demands for an immediate move.
Ziyech and Škriniar are two class players that might have changed the dynamic considerably. Bayern are missing players too due to injury, but by contrast, they managed to secure the late additions of Ajax’s Daley Blind, Gladbach’s Yann Sommer, and Manchester City’s João Cancelo. The latter? On loan, paperwork filed on time.
On March 8, the two European heavyweights will finally settle the score for this Champions League season. Could the late transfer window frenzy loom large over the outcome?