New look Bayern looking for European glory

MUNICH, GERMANY - AUGUST 31: Players of FC Bayern Muenchen celebrate after winning the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and 1. FSV Mainz 05 at Allianz Arena on August 31, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - AUGUST 31: Players of FC Bayern Muenchen celebrate after winning the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and 1. FSV Mainz 05 at Allianz Arena on August 31, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

When you think about the Goliath of German Football, only one name comes to the mind- Bayern Munich. They are undisputedly the most successful club in Germany. 29 Bundesliga titles, 19 DFB Pokals, 6 league cups are enough to support the above notion.

Five Champions League titles serve as the icing on the cake. Bayern have made winning the Bundesliga a mere formality. They have been the reigning champions of Germany since the 2012-13 season. No club came close to disrupting Bayern’s title party until last season. Their long-standing rivals Borussia Dortmund mounted a serious title challenge. In the end, it was the Bavarians who enjoyed the Beer shower.

Last season was defining for Bayern in many aspects. Curtains were drawn for the final time on one of the greatest twosomes in football- Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben. The legendary partnership finally decided to call it a day on their Bayern career after ten illustrious years. With the end of Robbery, Bayern also witnessed the farewell of their “Little Rafa” Rafinha who left Bayern after eight successful years.

The long-standing first-choice centre-back pair of Jerome Boateng (30) and Mats Hummels (30) was also split. Mats Hummels switched for Dortmund (again). With that, Jerome Boateng also slipped down the pecking order.

There was a common opinion among the Bayern faithful since the last two years that the squad was ageing and needed an overhaul as soon as possible. Uli Hoeness, the president of the club, chose this transfer window for a complete revamp. Hoeness aimed at a spectacular transfer window which would revitalize an already strong club. Bayern’s dominance in Germany is unquestionable, but in the past few years, they have been falling short in Europe.

In true manner, this was the changing of the Guard. Bayern wanted to create a team that had the potential to challenge the Liverpool’s, the Manchester City’s and the Barcelona’s. The summer transfer window served to be the first step in making Bayern a European powerhouse.

They broke their transfer record to lure Lucas Hernandez from Atletico Madrid for €80 million. Hernandez is a top centre back who can quite comfortably play as a left-back. He operates as a left-back for Les Bleus and is a ready replacement for ageing Jerome Boateng in the starting line-up.

Bayern also signed Hernandez’s partner in crime in the French backline- Benjamin Pavard. A natural right-back who had one well in the centre back position. He was one of the standout players in France’s world cup triumph and Bayern were quick to seal his signature. Hernandez and Pavard along with Nicolas Sule make a very young and robust back-line.

These defensive signings solve a big problem that Bayern had been facing. While their full-backs continued to flourish, their centre-backs struggled. The centre-backs were ageing and couldn’t perform as per expectations. Bolstering the backline was crucial and Bayern have executed the job perfectly.

With the defence taken care of, Bayern’s attack too needed some refreshing. Robbery finally culminated and their place was taken by Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman. Coman and Gnabry, both of them are a footballing machine equipped with dizzying skills and breathtaking place.

They have made the transition into the first team and are proving to be vital match-winners for Die Roten. Replacing one of the greatest duos on the globe isn’t an easy task. It is a herculean task and needs more than two players to fulfil mammoth responsibilities.

Bayern jumped into the transfer market once again. This time, they negotiated a loan deal with Inter for winger Ivan Perisic. Perisic’s inclusion adds loads of experience. He’s an outlet of advice to the young wingers Coman and Gnabry.

Thomas Muller was a Golden boot winner at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He rose to prominence and became one of the players who could compete in the league of the Neymars and the Hazards under Pep Guardiola.

However, in the last two seasons, Muller’s performances have dropped. He hasn’t been as effective as he was before. There have been dry spells where he failed to contribute to the team’s success. All of the above hinted that a change was needed. Philippe Coutinho moved to Bayern after a nightmarish spell at Barcelona.

Coutinho joined Bayern on a loan deal, Bayern have an option to buy him for €120 million next season. The Brazilian should fit well in the Bayern system. He is a master orchestrator who can create chances on his own will. A role behind the striker should suit him well plus you can always bet on his lethal left foot. Fiete Arp adds more flair to the attack.

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Thiago has been running the midfield ever since he moved to Munich. Leon Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso can supplement him well. Javi Martinez is a reliable backup. Tolisso missed a majority of the campaign last term due to injury, if he manages to remain fit then he, Goretzka and Thiago can make one terrific midfield.

The squad transition solves many questions that were unanswered before. Bayern Munich are no doubt the favourites to lift the Bundesliga. When it comes to the Champions League, Bayern always missed a few pieces in the jigsaw. They have renovated the squad with the sole aim to bring the prestigious Champions League Trophy to the Allianz Arena.

The Bavarians have gone from a team of Xabi Alonso, Robben, Ribery, and Schweinsteiger to Coman, Gnabry, Goretzka and Tolisso. They now have a finely equipped squad which can take them really deep in Europe. If the Bayern faithful have learned anything over the years, it’s that a good squad rotation can carry them through a season. Perhaps the youthful energy will help Kovac keep the hunt on for Bayern’s sixth Champions League title.