Bayern Munich just keep getting scarier, no matter who complains about it.
While I’m of course referencing Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno’s derision of the course Bayern Munich has set the Bundesliga on through its own dominance, it seems as though Die Roten could not care less.
The Bavarian outfit recently finally sealed the long awaited deal for Leroy Sane, formerly of Manchester City; with Sane in the fold at Germany’s most successful football club, the wings of the team have been established. LeRoy Sane, Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman and Alphonso Davies appears set to rotate for at least this up and coming campaign, if not the foreseeable future.
For the other great clubs of Bundesliga, like Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Leverkusen, RB Leipzig and Wolfsburg, where can even a shred of weakness be found after the hiring of Hansi Flick and subsequent signing of LeRoy Sane?
Bayern Munich: The middle is still the only weakness left, but for how long?
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While Robert Lewandowski has finally been given as much help as his virtuosity deserves along the front of the offensive shape, one can still have reservations about the midfield, or even backline on occasion,
Philippe Coutinho will soon be gone, back to Barcelona, if only for a moment as they look for landing spots for him moving forward; Thiago Alcantara meanwhile has his eyes set on the Premier League and Liverpool, with Jerome Boateng thoughtful about a move as well. These are three highly talented players, albeit with varying degrees of efficacy this campaign, all playing in the middle of the pitch on their respective levels; who will be replacing them?
For Bayern, finding suitable replacements, or at least added depth, will be crucial for them in this compressed offseason. Thomas Mueller still appears capable of playing at an incredible level, no matter how long he has done it prior. Leon Goretzka continues to grow seemingly every match; his continued ascension will allow for Hansi Flick and Miroslav Klose time to develop the academy talent, as well as acclimate any new transfers when they’re made.
Corentin Tolliso too has a real opportunity to express himself and make his case for constant consideration in the squad; his skill and ability can grow better under a consistent eye and manager. As Hansi Flick has shown his quality versus his predecessor, Niko Kovac.
Defensively, Bayern has already done work in signing youth like Tanguy Nianzou from PSG; could we consider them active in getting more defensive depth in the middle? Surely, but with Nike’s Sule, Benjamin Pavard, Joshua Kimmich and Lucas Hernandez, they will not be too badly hurt if they were to not.
So, where does that leave the rest of the Bundesliga?
Not all is lost in Germany even with Bayern Munich’s continued financial and domestic domination; in Dortmund for example, I have argued that few teams are as well positioned to challenge Bayern moving forward. Between Jadon Sancho, Julian Brandt, Thorgan Hazard, Erling Haaland, Marco Reuss and company, the ability and potential are equally off the charts.
At RB Leipzig, remarkable management by Julian Nagelsmann has created a team that gives teams fits across the Bundesliga; whether he remains at Leipzig is another matter, but should he continue to do so, what he can build with restricted resources is scary even for the Giants of the nation.
Leverkusen appear in the potentially worst shape moving forward; losing a talent like Kai Havertz will never be a positive for a team, no matter the money it brings in to the club. No matter how long you have a virtuoso talent like Jadon Sancho, or in this case, Kai Havertz, selling them before they hit their prime will leave a lasting impression surely.
There are challengers, those with ability, strategy or will, but who will be able to string it all together for the entire domestic German campaign? It is not a sprint, but a marathon; Bayern Munich have proven wonders in large part to this depth and persistence. Should any team catch up to them on a year-to-year basis, it will be thanks to those very same qualities. But it is not easy, and so neither will be knocking them off of that high horse for good; certainly, everyone will give it their best shot, but adding LeRoy Sane is hardly fair to the rest of Germany.
That is not even an ounce of Bayern Munich’s concern however.