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Could this former player become Bayern Munich’s answer at defensive midfield?

What’s old is new?

Paris Saint-Germain v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Michael Regan - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Bayern Munich want a defensive midfielder this summer, and all the options have been found lacking. West Ham midfielder Declan Rice was the club’s chief target, but it looks like he’s on his way to Arsenal. Aside from that, the rumored names — Fiorentina’s Soyfan Amrabat and Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips — leave something to be desired. At that point, why not just use Joshua Kimmich as a DM?

The club bosses seem to be thinking the same thing, which is why talks for a new midfielder have cooled in recent weeks. However, there is one option on the market that has yet to be considered. An option that is almost sure to fit into Bayern’s team, because he’s done it before.

Thiago Alcantara.

If you think about it, it makes sense. The market for defensive midfielders is a little dry right now, and Thiago has been rumored to be looking for a move away from Liverpool FC in recent weeks. Rumors were only exacerbated after the player removed the club from his Instagram bio, which is practically as concrete as a transfer request in the eyes of the footballing media.

Now, there’s no definitive indication that Liverpool or Jurgen Klopp would like to part ways with Thiago, or that he could move back to FC Bayern. This is just a thought experiment. With his contract set to expire in 2024 and no extension in sight, Liverpool will want to move the Spaniard on as soon as possible. From Thiago’s perspective, a return to Germany could be an attractive notion at this stage of his career.

What’s in it for Bayern? Well, let’s consider:

  • Thiago has an established rapport with the existing midfielders on the squad — Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka — and has proved he can do the job at a world class level.
  • His transfer would be relatively cheap. He has an expiring contract and Liverpool and Bayern enjoy doing business with each other, as shown by the smooth transfer of Sadio Mane last summer.
  • He can play defensive midfield but also as a box-to-box, giving Thomas Tuchel flexibility with what he wants to do.

The only downsides are his age and his constant injuries. Then again, Bayern were ready to offer him an extension while being well aware of his injury record before Thiago chose to switch to the Premier League, so it doesn’t seem like a big deal for the club. And in those occasions where Thiago has played for Liverpool last season, his presence served to boost the Reds’ beleaguered midfield.

With Bayern Munich locked in an expensive bidding war for a new striker, most notably Harry Kane, a cheap stopgap at defensive midfield who knows the club seems like it would be the perfect answer for a season or two.

Looking for more insight on the recent transfer coming and goings? Check out our Weekend Warm-up Podcast on Spotify or below for our thoughts on the rumors linking Bayern Munich to Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, Juventus’ Federico Chiesa, and a whole lot more:

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