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Lewandowski’s Backup

why didn’t Bayern Munich buy a backup for Lewi in the summer? because they listened to the ideas of a coach who didn’t even last another half a season. Lewi is good but playing in all competitions including national team games is too much for anyone, but what is the solution? in this blog post i will be looking at the options that i think make most sense for Bayern.

to give a brief overview of what i think we are looking for: youth for the bayern team, but with experience in the top tier of a top 4 league (bundesliga, premier league, la liga, serie a) and the quality to make the squad better in the long term. of course they have to be realistic too.

option 1: Bayern Jugend

bayern have long said that they want to bring their own players into the first team. if nothing appropriate can be found in the winter this would provide a great opportunity. they have two guys who could potentially get some valuable playing time with the first team, especially in the bundesliga, while Lewi rests for the champions league.

the two players i see as potentials:

  • kwasi wriedt(23)
    • the player: up a tier from wintzheimer where he plays for bayern munich’s second team in the bavarian regional league. he moved to the team at the start of the season and has had no issue at all in settling in. Same can be said for when he came in for 20 minutes in the DFB Pokal and nearly scored. very level headed and down to earth guy.
    • skills: apart from being level headed and adaptable he is also a big and strong guy at 188cm, who knows how to score. this season he has already notched 9 and 3 assists in 13 games. due to his physicality he will probably be the more likely one to get more game time.
  • manuel wintzheimer(18)
    • the player: only 18, but has shown consistency on a junior level. has consistently contributed 20+ scorer points in his last three season on a junior level and is well under way again this season with 15 in 8 games. will need to prove that he can bring this to the seniors.
    • skills: good long-distance shot, good in 1 vs 1, good build for a 18 year old. i think he is ready for the next step and actually needs to get some playing time in the first or second league, so that his development is pushed.

and who knows, if they do well enough, maybe they get themselves a permanent position in the first team for next season alongside Lewi or whoever is ST no.1…Belotti…

option 2: Bundesliga

in the bundesliga as well as the other top leagues there are a lot of potential players who you could plug in and who could be a good fit. on the bundesliga i am sure that stindl or wagner could be an interesting addition for example, but do they really improve the squad in the long run? because of this question i have identified just 2 or three from the bundesliga and international.

  • timo werner (21)(contract until 2020)
    • situation: the dream solution. he is a skilled german national and sponsored by adidas – two great criteria for him joining bayern. in addition it would weaken one of the main competitors in the league. especially the last reason may make it very difficult to get him away from leipzig.
    • the player: has had a lot of up an downs in his young career in the league in terms of handling a lot of abuse from fans. but he doesn’t seem to let it get to him, which is a great trait, also doesn’t complain a lot. he always seems to perform, be it a big game or small and comes with great energy.
    • skills: can play up front and on the wings, more of a hybrid than any of the others. compensates for some of the pace bayern is missing at the moment and has a great drive for goal. has a goal or assist in close to every game he plays in.
  • divok origi (22)(contract liverpool until 2019 [loan to wolfsburg until 2018])
    • situation: as you can see from the contract situation, it’s not easy. HOWEVER, clubs often have a clause to bring players back in the winter when they are on a one year loan, which would then open up the possibility for bayern to buy. a plus point is that he is also young, talented and sponsored by adidas. the fact that his contract expires in 2019 might make this a lot more realistic than at first glance.
    • the player: i have to admit that i don’t know much about his personality, but that also means that i haven’t seen anything negative.
    • skills: i haven’t seen too much of his play for wolfsburg, but i hear he isn’t doing too bad (5 scorer points in 9 games). i have seen him play for liverpool though, and i was really surprised that he didn’t get more game time. he is strong, can drive the ball towards goal and has a good shot.

option 3: International

i said that werner was the dream solution, but he can also play over the wing and therefore doesn’t exclude belotti as being the other dream solution:

  • andrea belotti(23)(contract until 2021)
    • situation: for some reason he is not talked about as much as he deserves. in my opinion the first choice solution and could even replace Lewi once we decide to sell him to madrid or something in the next year or two. shoe sponsor is adidas.
    • the player: he is a captain for his squad with 23 years of age, that says a lot. reminds me, in character of kimmich.
    • skills: can score with both feet and his head. is a fighter and an out and out striker. 34 scorer points in 35 serie a games last season for a mid table team.

the next two are players who have proven they can score goals (meaning they could replace lewi as a flase 9), but in the long term would be more destined to take over the positions of ribery and robben, plus the fit into the philosophy of getting the best german players and might actually be available:

  • julian draxler(24)(contract until 2021)
    • situation: only second choice behind neymar and mbappe and PSG needs to sell players to compensate for the big spending and could therefore be available in the winter already. shoe sponsor: adidas.
    • the player: throughout his time in the bundesliga i never really understood the hype around him, because i felt that he was simply too inconsistent. he seems to have sorted that out in his short time at PSG, as could be seen during the Confed Cup, where he stepped up as a leader and played very well.
    • skills: he is fast, a good dribbler and can finish well too.
  • leroy sane(21)(contract until 2021)
    • situation: what happens if alexis sanchez is brought over from arsenal? will he get enough playing time? at the same time though he is under a mentor who he really respects.
    • the player: even though i love the way he plays, his decisions are questionable sometimes. one moment he seems down to earth and hard working, the next he gets his whole back tattooed with a picture of himself. would be a great addition, i was gutted he didn’t come to us at the time of his move to man city.
    • skills: blisteringly fast, not too egotistical (good eye for his fellow players), but with a good finish himself. similar to coman, but with more confidence.

altogether, belotti would be my no.1 target, but next summer. in the winter i would consider adding origi, draxler or both and to give some of the young players a shot, especially wriedt.

then in the summer sell lewi and you have 3 strikers with belotti, origi and wriedt. on the wings you have coman, gnabry, draxler and gradually phase out ribery and robben, who will open up a space for another winger.

to finance this we buy james and sell him on (i have seen some comments about barca interest) and sell vidal (see my post on the matter), which in turn would help us out at CB as Hummels and Boa continue to have injuries. bernat and rafinha can also be sold, we have friedl as backup leftback and could get a new RB. if sanchez comes back in the summer, he and tolisso can battle for the 8 position.

these moves would balance the squad out a lot better and provide some much needed youth.

EDIT: another option could be to hire lavezzi until the end of the season, his contract is expiring at the end of the year. he has a lot of experience playing at the highest level, even if he played in china for the past two years. the question would be whether he can still perform at the highest level.

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