Bayern are struggling.
After dropping 3 points against their league rivals Borussia Dortmund, recently promoted Fortuna Dusseldorf held Bayern to a 3-3 draw at home.
The king of Germany is currently in 5th place with 21 points – 6 wins, 3 draws, 3 losses. They’re left scratching their heads.
As the holiday break inches closer, many wonder if this will conclude as a season with no league silverware. After all, with six back to back league titles since 2012 and claiming the DFB Pokal eight times since 2000, you can sense supporters rapidly losing hope.
The starting XI that once grew to be feared throughout Europe are beginning to wither. Bayern has long held a core group of players that brought consistent dominance year in and year out.
It’s intriguing to note eight of the starting XI from the 2013 Champions League final started against Borussia… eight.
“We have a very good team, but it’s true: It’s ageing a bit,” Coman, who is set to return from injury in the coming weeks, said. “You must think about new players at the right time.”
Coman is right. Wingers Arjen Robben, 34, and Franck Ribery, 35, were absolutely riveting in their positions. In 2018, how much more can they contribute? Do they still posses the work ethic to track back on a Christian Pulisic (20) or Sancho (18)? Clearly the game against Borussia answered that.
While Robben and Ribery’s contracts run until June 30th, 2019, Manuel Neuer, Robert Lewandowski, Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez, Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller have all turned 30 or are approaching the mark within the year.
I’m not here to wash away the accomplishments of these superstars. I’m just saying I agree with Coman. The German giants are desperately in need of a new crop of players to carry them into the next decade of dominance.
As the middle of the season approaches, the winter and summer transfer rumors are becoming more prevalent. Who has Bayern’s interest? Who will carry the next number 10 and 7 for the years to come? We can start with the player that’s already landed in Munich and eager to cement his place: Alphonso Davies.
1) Alphonso Davies
On November 21st, the ex-Vancouver Whitecaps player participated in his first Bayern Munich training.
The 18-year-old was acquired for $22 million, a record for an MLS player. His previous coach has expressed comparisons to the likes of Thierry Henry and even a combination of “half messi, half ronaldo.”
Recognized as an “MLS prodigy” at the age of 15, the Bundesliga powerhouse has obtained a great, young player. MLS and Bundesliga supporters are eager to see what the Canadian international has to offer.
While playing time for Davies is yet to be determined, securing a young player with high potential is a great move for the future.
2) Benjamin Pavard
The Frenchmen would go on to win the goal of the tournament with an outside of the foot GOLAZO.
At 22-years-old, the centre back currently plays at VfB Stuttgart and has amassed 12 appearances. With VfB currently in last place, Bayern has been rumored to be highly interested in this young defender. Reports are claiming the two parties made an initial agreement during the World Cup.
I don’t think he’ll make the switch in the upcoming winter transfer window, but I anticipate Bayern closing in the summer of 2019.
3) Kai Havertz
3 goals and 2 assists in 12 Bundesliga appearances, while also notching 3 goals and 3 assists in the UEFA Europa League.
Those types of numbers will put any 19-year-old on the map.
The Bayern Leverkusen midfielder is currently making waves at his mid-table club. Restating that Ribery and Robben will soon need to be replaced, this could be the answer Bayern are looking for in the middle of the pitch.
Per Bavarianfootballworks.com, his performances in the early part of the season earned him his first call-up to the German national team in September. Spanish giants Barcelona are also keeping close tabs.
To me, he resembles a more agile, attack-minded Sergio Busquets.
4) Aaron Ramsey
Although not quite as young as the other players listed, Ramsey seems to be the closest one to make the move to the Bundesliga. Several reports are indicating Ramsey is considered surplus for Unai Emery and the Gunners.
No extension has been made on his contract, which ends at the end of the season, and five other clubs are said to be monitoring his situation.
According to Goal.com, he said in October of a long-running and slightly puzzling saga: “There is no contract on the table at the moment so there is nothing for me to consider.”
“We all know that the contract was taken away off the table. I’m not sure exactly why because a few weeks before we sort of agreed and I was ready to sign.”
“Something happened, I am not sure exactly what, but that contract is no longer there, or nothing’s on the table.”
A player that never really settled at Arsenal, lacing up in Munich might just be what the Wales international needs.
A great addition to provide some leadership in the midfield.
5) Christian Pulisic
Ah, the new Captain America. The Golden Boy. The kid from Hershey, PA. One of the most upcoming dynamic wingers in the world.
I don’t even have to explain why 20-year-old Pulisic is on this list. But I do have to shed light on the youngster now being linked to Bayern as of last week (add them to the list of Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Real Madrid). Yea, just a kid from Hershey, PA.
Earlier this month, reports indicated Pulisic had told Dortmund teammates he would see out his contract until the summer of 2019.
It’s hard to argue his imminent move. The American’s 2018 season has been filled with some light turbulence. Jadon Sancho and Jacob Bruun Larsen have predominantly been the preferred choices on the wings for the Black and Yellow. In 391 minutes played, Christian has managed only 1 goal and 2 assists.
Dortmund supporters are cognizant of Bayern’s knack for swooping in on their talent – Robert Lewandowski, Mario Gotze, Mats Hummels have made the switch from yellow to red in years past.
Bayern Munich need a hard look at themselves. It might be too late to salvage the 2018-2019 campaign (league wise), but the club needs to take advantage of the upcoming summer transfer window and it’s crucial they pitch the move correctly.
If Bayern came knocking, boasting about their upcoming rebuilding phase, promising you their number 10 jersey, previously filled by a Dutch legend, what would you do?