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Weekend Warm-up: Rating Bayern Munich’s transfer window; Bundesliga predictions; Reviewing the last episode of True Detective; Throwing it back to Ben Harper and Charlie Musslewhite; & MORE!

The transfer window is over...now what?

FC Bayern München Training Session Photo by Stefan Matzke - sampics/Getty Images

Expected to go hard after defensive depth during the transfer window, Bayern Munich did well to address that in a relatively cost effective manner.

However, defense was not the only area where the Bavarians moved to strengthen the squad. Let’s take a look at each player and give our ratings on each move...

Bryan Zaragoza

Club: Granada

Type of move: Permanent

Cost: €13 million + €4 million loan fee per Transfermarkt

Getafe CF v Granada CF - LaLiga EA Sports
Bryan Zaragoza move to Bayern Munich early.
Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Originally, this transfer, which was detailed back in December, was slated to go official in July. However, a slew of injuries caused Bayern Munich to re-think its strategy.

If you listened to the Weekend Warm-up Podcast (why wouldn’t you?), you already know that I felt bringing Zaragoza to Germany right now was a bit of a panic move. I still think there is more than enough coverage at wing (even with Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry currently out) and that Zaragoza would have benefitted from staying with Granada, where he almost assuredly would have gotten more playing time.

All that said, it is an intriguing move for a few reasons. A creative dribbler, Zaragoza could bring a different look and style to the table for the Bavarians. His presence could eventually signal that either Coman or Gnabry will need to move on (Gnabry to Borussia Dortmund seems like it would be a fit this summer), but for now, Thomas Tuchel can enjoy the peace of mind knowing that he has depth at wing.

Truthfully, I really want to see Jamal Musiala at wing as well and this expedited move could prevent that from that happening, which dropped it a few points. With a 5.5 year deal, Zaragoza will either end up going down as a cost-effective and smart, long-term investment or just another time that Bayern Munich jumped the gun on a transfer.

  • Position of need: 3.00/5.00
  • Cost effectiveness: 4.00/5.00
  • Future outlook: 4.50/5.00
  • Overall rating: 3.83/5.00
  • Summary: Zaragoza is a solid pick-up. There is no denying that there was good, genuine intent in acquiring him back in December. While I was classify the sudden rush to bring him to Germany now as a panic move, it is also a prudent move for depth purposes.

Eric Dier

Club: Tottenham Hotspur

Type of move: Loan

Cost: €0 per Transfermarkt (with rumored incentive laden levels for Tottenham to receive compensation)

A somehow controversial move, Dier fills a valuable position as the team’s fourth center-back — and also someone who can float to the defensive midfield or even right-back in the event of an emergency.

Simply put, this was a low impact, low expectation move for a player, who is a friend of Harry Kane and who is also regarded as a top locker room presence. Dier has already played a key role with Kim Min-jae on international duty and Dayot Upamecano injured. Nothing like a baptism by fire for the Englishman, eh?

  • Position of need: 5.00/5.00
  • Cost effectiveness: 5.00/5.00
  • Future outlook: 1.00/5.00
  • Overall rating: 3.67/5.00
  • Summary: Dier is not a superstar, but he gives Tuchel the assurance that there is a veteran back-up available in times of needs. Not having a fee associated with him was a bonus as well, because it allowed Bayern Munich to invest more money into other positions.

Sacha Boey

Club: Galatasaray

Type of move: Permanent

Cost: €30 million per Transfermarkt

FC Bayern München Training Session
Sacha Boey could play a key role this season.
Photo by Stefan Matzke - sampics/Getty Images

With Noussair Mazraoui injured and on international duty, Konrad Laimer injured, and Josip Stanišić on loan with Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich needed a right-back — in a bad way.

The Bavarians probably overpaid for Boey out of necessity, but it was a position that the team absolutely needed more depth at. How Boey fits remains to be seen (he should be fine), but how this affects Mazraoui’s perception of his standing with the club might be even more important. At 23-years-old, Boey is the same age as Stanišić and just three years younger than Mazraoui. Clearly, having three players for one position at those ages for the 2024/25 season will be an untenable situation...but that is a problem for another day.

  • Position of need: 5.00/5.00
  • Cost effectiveness: 2.00/5.00
  • Future outlook: 3.50/5.00
  • Overall rating: 3.50/5.00
  • Summary: Boey will probably get his feet wet with Bayern Munich on Saturday and he will likely fit in just fine. Bayern Munich needed to pay a premium to get him (he is still only valued at €22 million on Transfermarkt for whatever it is worth), but the key thing to watch is what happens next summer. Something tells me that this could be Mazraoui’s swansong in a Bayern Munich kit.

Jonah Kusi-Asare

Club: AIK

Type of move: Permanent

Cost: €4.5 million per Transfermarkt

Bayern Munich might like Kusi-Asare and will give him a chance to develop with the U-19 squad, but this could be one of the first real prospects that the club experiments with becoming a “selling club.” Bayern Munich seems genuinely intrigued by Kusi-Asare, but with Mathys Tel already in-house, this seems like the perfect kind of player to develop, increase his value, and then generate some revenue with a future sale.

  • Position of need: 1.00/5.00
  • Cost effectiveness: 4.00/5.00
  • Future outlook: 4.00/5.00
  • Overall rating: 3.00/5.00
  • Summary: This was a low risk move. At best, he becomes a “striker of the future” and at worst it was a €4.5 million gamble that did not pay off. Somewhere in the middle, though, there is that area where he could develop into an asset valued by other clubs.

Overall

It was a good window for Bayern Munich where the club added valuable depth, while also keeping an toward the future. Were the moves good enough to push Bayern Munich over-the-top? Probably not, but these transfers and loans were not meant to be game-changers; they were meant to be more for depth. For winning trophies, the existing core will have to raise their level of play.

  • Positions of need: 3.50/5.00
  • Cost effectiveness: 3.75/5.00
  • Future outlook: 3.25/5.00
  • Overall rating: 3.50/5.00

How do you rate the window?

Poll

How do rate Bayern Munich’s transfer window?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    5.00 - Awesome!
    (9 votes)
  • 9%
    4.50
    (21 votes)
  • 29%
    4.00
    (66 votes)
  • 24%
    3.50
    (55 votes)
  • 19%
    3.00
    (43 votes)
  • 7%
    2.50
    (17 votes)
  • 1%
    2.00
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    1.50
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    1.00
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    0.50
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    0.00 - Total debacle!
    (0 votes)
221 votes total Vote Now

Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 3, Episode 30

Bayern Munich is coming off of a somewhat of a crazy transfer window in the midst of a slew of injuries and while preparing to face-off with the always pesky Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Needless to say, we have a TON to talk about. Let’s take a look at what is top for this week’s episode:

  • What the Philadelphia Eagles taught us about “a win is a win” and why Bayern Munich needs to get it together.
  • Why is Thomas Tuchel so averse to Jamal Musiala playing wing — even at a time where the club desperately needs him to?
  • Examining the validity of my own crackpot theory about Musiala possibly refusing to play wing. Is there a primadonna blossoming under the radar?
  • Taking a look at the other options: Thomas Muller, Mathys Tel, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Bryan Zaragoza, and Alphonso Davies.
  • Was bringing in Zaragoza now, a panic move?
  • The acquisition of Sacha Boey and what it could mean for the future of Noussair Mazraoui.
  • A deep dive in how divisive Tuchel has made things in the Bayern Munich fanbase.
  • Thought on the last episode of True Detective.

Song of the Week: “I Don’t Believe a Word You Say” by Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite

We are venturing into a little bit more of a blues sound this week in the form of “I Don’t Believe a Word You Say” by Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite.

Released in 2013, I distinctly remember driving up the Blue Route (a disastrous Philly-area roadway) to work in the wee hours of the morning and this coming on. While not hard rock or metal, it did give me a bit of jolt.

While I do not own a ton of blues on my playlist, this is one of my modern favorites of the genre. Enjoy:


Entertainment Rundown

True Detective: Night Country — Episode 3

I have been extremely positive about this season of True Detective, but I was not overly hooked by this episode...let’s find out why:

  • Effective use of timing and character development are key to any good story, but this just felt like a filler episode where not much really happened until the end of the episode. While the plot did make some progressions, it felt a little disjointed.
  • I recognize that it is very hard to pull off non-stop entertainment in a show as deep and complex as this, but this episode really felt like one of those episodes of The Sopranos that was mixed in every season that did not advance the storyline all that much.
  • It feels like the show needs more flashbacks to the past.
  • Anyway, now that I got my complaining out of the way, I can say that the relationship between Chief Danvers (Jodie Foster) and Trooper Navarro (Kali Reis) is one of the best things about the show. However, Navarro is always just a little too intense and goes from 0 to 100 in like 1.5 seconds. It tends to make a lot of scenes uncomfortable. Similarly, Office Peter Prior (Finn Bennett) and Officer Hank Prior (John Hawkes) have a lot of baggage.
  • The mentoring of Peter Prior by Danvers is another key subplot to watch play out.
  • At this point, it feels like Hank has a lot more of a feel for what is going on than he has said.
  • It is amazing that nearly everyone is miserable in the show. Part of me wonders if that is intentional because of the extended period without sunlight and the effect that it has on humans during that time. Who knows?
  • Needless to say, I am still in. The murder mystery is still the show’s focus and the characters are at their respective bests when investigating and working on that murder. This episode felt it focused more on the relationships between the individual characters and it just seemed to miss the mark a bit. All that said, if this is the worst that we get, then it is just a blip on the radar of what looks to be a solid season of television.

Rating: 3.00/5.00


Bavarian Podcast Works: Preview Show — Bayern Munich vs. Gladbach

Bogey alert!

Bayern Munich will host Borussia Mönchengladbach for what could be a very important Bundesliga matchup.

The Bavarians have had a lot of trouble with Die Fohlen in recent years, and this could be a situation where the banged up and weary boys from Bayern Munich need to really dig deep even against a Borussia Mönchengladbach side that is not exactly a juggernaut.

Let’s take a look at what we have on tap for this Preview Show:

  • A look at where each team is in the table.
  • Some thoughts on Bayern Munich’s injury and absence situation; and what Thomas Tuchel might to do to work around missing key players like Kim Min-jae, Noussair Mazraoui, Dayot Upamecano, Konrad Laimer, Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry, and Joshua Kimmich.
  • An attempt to figure out Tuchel’s lineup for the game — and why common sense probably will not prevail.
  • A prediction on the match.

Predictions

Yup, we know.

There is no way that Bayern Munich is going to beat Borussia Mönchengladbach — the gods won’t allow it!

That said, Bayern Munich should be looking to prove itself further in this match. With Bayer Leverkusen within striking distance, Gladbach’s typical bogey routine could be disrupted by a focused Bayern Munich side.

And sure, this is the prototypical spot for Bayern Munich to engage in a “look ahead” game given that Bayer Leverkusen is up next week and Lazio is waiting to host the Bavarians on Wednesday February 14th in the Champions League. Still, it would be shocking if Bayern Munich got caught sleeping in this one given the recent history between the two clubs.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach

Bayern Munich received an advantageous draw in getting Lazio in this round. The Italian side simply cannot match the firepower of the Bavarians, but will likely be scrappy enough to prevent any type of blowout.

It will not be a cakewalk, but Bayern Munich will not have to strain too much to walk out of Stadio Olimpico with a victory and a strong lead in the tie.

Champions League Prediction: Lazio 0-2 Bayern Munich* (early pick)

Other Bundesliga predictions include:

  • Heidenheim 1-3 Borussia Dortmund
  • VfL Bochum 1-2 FC Augsburg
  • SV Darmstadt 98 1-2 Bayer Leverkusen
  • SC Freiburg 1-1 VfB Stuttgart
  • Mainz 05 1-1 Werder Bremen
  • FC Köln 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
  • VfL Wolfsburg 0-1 Hoffenheim
  • RB Leipzig 2-0 Union Berlin

Prediction Records

  • Bundesliga Last Active Week: 4-5
  • Bundesliga Total: 85-85
  • DFB-Pokal Total: 1-1
  • Champions League Total: 5-1
  • DFL-Supercup: 0-1
  • Total: 91-88

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