Yesterday I posted what I would imagine the Bayern Munich squad to look like next season as part of a successful transition over the next three years. Today I will be looking at how I imagine the squad developing into the last year of Ancelotti’s contract.
[RED] first team
[ORANGE] backups (who will all be needed for all three competitions)
[BLUE] new players (including potential new players)
[GREY] youth players with the potential to get into the first team in the future
Season 2018/2019 (Ancelotti)
Potential leavers: Robben, Rafinha, Ulreich, (Vidal if he doesn’t go summer 2017), (Sanchez if he doesn’t perform well during the 2017/2018 season)
Potential joiners: Goretzka, Belotti, [GK2], (potentially a RB)
Comments to the Transfers
I think that the transfer window of Summer 2018 will be a bit quieter due to the big changes of 2017. There are several contracts which are expiring and I don’t think will be renewed. The main two people I am referring to are Ulreich and Rafinha. Great backup players who have done their jobs well over the seasons. Ulreich has already expressed the wish to move to another club, but is injured this summer so I think that it will have to wait until 2018. Rafinha has said that he would like to stay but he isn’t getting any younger and therefore doesn’t really fit into the developmental plans of the squad.
Robben is a bit more difficult. While he has publicly started talking about retirement plans, he is very ambitious. If he feels that he can do another year he may get another 1yr contract and then finish with the end of Ancelotti’s time at Bayern. A lot of this may depend on how far the young wingers are in their development. Ribery is in the same position with his contract expiring 2018, but I think he will stay at least another year. Again this may depend on Robben and the other wingers. The difference with Ribery is that he has established himself as a legend at Bayern and a fan favourite, so I think that they would give him another year if he wants it.
As noted above, I also assume that if Vidal doesn’t leave this summer then he will be sold 2018. Sanchez is in a similar position, but he has publicly said that he wants to prove himself at FCB and he is a lot younger, so he might get more leeway to develop, especially if he is happy to do so with a little less playing time than he might get elsewhere. This could also lead to a loan.
Moving on to additions. The one of which I am almost certain of is Leon Goretzka (Schalke), whose contract expires 2018. Schalke don’t want to let him go this summer, but he is the perfect young midfield leader who has already captained Germany at an U21 level. Hard working, powerful going forward and good at working back. It has also been reported that his Agents have been at the Säbener Strasse this summer…
The second sure addition which will need to be made is an old and experienced Goalie to replace Ulreich in the depth chart – unless he decided he wants to stay in Munich after all. If not then someone like him, Starke or Reina who have filled this spot in the past. Früchtl will also be increasingly responsible for this role.
The big signing of the transfer period will be a young star striker who, in the years that follow, will replace Lewandowski. Unless he signs somewhere this transfer window, I think that the perfect guy (who is also available – this takes players like Lukaku out of contention as he will transfer this summer) is Andrea Belotti (Torino FC). He is good with both feet and his head, strong, fast and the addition of Bernardeschi 2017 would probably make it easier for him to adjust.
Depending on how well Kimmich plays, I think that there may also be a signing of a rightback, maybe Heinrichs.
Comments regarding Tactics
As you can see, several players have changed the position where I have put them in the depth chart. With the addition of Goretzka, Sanchez moves into the backup spot behind Tolisso. Rudy can still help out here, but he is also planned in to replace the leaving Rafinha at RB, something not entirely new to him. This midfield allows for a 4-3-3 with Thiago-Tolisso-Goretzka behind Ribery-Lewandowski-Müller. It could be argued that Thiago-Rudy-Tolisso is something that could happen 2017/2018, but following last season and the critique of leaving out Müller, I think he will be preferred to Rudy.
In addition to this I have Bernardeschi moving over to the Right Wing to replace Robben. It could also be Coman who gets the nod as first team there, but I have simply gone by age and what I have seen in games so far. The division has also happened for the following reasons:
- wanted two people for each spot
- Ribery: only Left
- Gnabry: Left and Center (strongest games from left)
- Coman: Left and Right (stronger games have been from the Right)
- Bernardeschi: Left and Right (although he is stronger for the Left)
- Müller: Center and Right (strongest games in center as second striker)
- Belotti: Center as striker/ second striker
I don’t think that Ancelotti will move from his 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3, primarily playing with the first while the new players adjust. Later in the season he may move to a 4-3-3, possibly even with a front three of Belotti-Lewandowski-Müller when there are teams with tough defences.
My next post will be the 2019-2020 season, where I hope Julian Nagelsmann (currently Hoffenheim) will take over and could sign on for a longer term than the 3 years of the previous managers to develop the squad.