Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel has been on the hot seat ever since taking the top job. Managing one of world football’s best squads comes with a tremendous amount of scrutiny and pressure, something the man is familiar with. However, Bayern Munich is no Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain, and the lack of an unending supply of oil money means prudence needs to be exercised with respect to squad planning.
Tuchel seems to have made a fundamental error in squad management: ostracizing certain players. For reasons better known to the coach, players like Matthijs de Ligt and Noussair Mazraoui have seldom seen consistent pitch time, and there seems to be no good explanation for it. De Ligt has voiced his frustrations over a lack of playing time, and now suddenly, the player finds himself on the chopping block.
Yes, Bayern Munich is considering selling Matthijs de Ligt. The same player they signed just last season for 79 million euros (including add-ons).
And Real Madrid is reportedly interested in signing the player.
If that isn't a major cause for concern, Real Madrid has also been linked to signing another Bayern star — a left-back without whom the system simply wouldn’t function — Alphonso Davies. ‘X player cannot pass vertically’ is simply not enough of an argument for selling world-class players. Bayern Munich has one of the world’s best squads for a reason. These are players that have been acquired carefully; players that fit the system, players that can make the difference against top European opposition.
It is no secret that Tuchel loves players from the Premier League. Signing João Palhinha has always been a pipe dream, but it seems like he might be willing to push another player out in the process. Bayern’s midfield has been its weakest link this season, and Joshua Kimmich is a player who hasn’t looked good in Tuchel’s system. Then there’s the whole rift between the two on their disagreements on Kimmich’s role.
Up until Tuchel’s arrival, Bayern Munich was doing really well with Kimmich and Goretzka as the midfield options. Suddenly, the system needs a reshuffle, and Bayern need to splurge on a pure destroyer. Where does this leave us?
Yes, you guessed right. Q$G is interested in signing Kimmich. All this does is open the floodgates. The player would have no dearth of suitors, with one extremely scary possibility — Kimmich at Manchester City.
So where does this leave the club? Do the bosses keep splurging on new toys in a failed attempt to replace the world’s best players? What if the new signings aren’t good enough? With wage demands constantly on the rise, getting these new signings to extend contracts would become even more arduous. This could result in a vicious cycle, introducing new holes to plug every season.
More importantly, though, should a manager really have this much say in squad planning and transfers? Bayern’s management has long performed remarkably well when they’ve separated coaching and squad planning, at least to an extent. Sure, the coach is free to implement the system he deems fit, as long as it results in winning football. This doesn’t however mean that he could sign any player of his choosing.
It doesn’t seem far fetched that Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman might follow. Heck, even Leroy Sané’s future doesn’t seem very certain. Such wholesale changes may not bode well for the club since replacements are not easy to find. Transitions need to be carried out smoothly, and too many players cannot be sold all at once since it could mess up squad integration plans.
Of course, this could all be a case of much ado about nothing, but the signs are there and the situation looks quite concerning. Here’s to hoping the management know what they’re doing.
A coach is far more expendable than a core of world-class players.
And that is a fact.