Bayern Munich will be keen to return among the European elites and here are three players that could make them serious Champions League contenders.
Bayern Munich is undoubtedly one of the most feared and successful clubs in world football. Especially following their treble-winning campaign in the 2012/13 season, the Bavarians have emerged as the true powerhouse of German football. And they have maintained that status quite well, notably securing seven back to back Bundesliga titles.
However, a Champions League title has always eluded them, even under the highly successful spell of Pep Guardiola. That being said, things have changed following the arrival of Niko Kovac last summer. The Croatian head coach, after initially enduring a tough start to the campaign, was the brains behind Bayern’s incredible comeback during the second half of last season.
But what has really appealed the fans and experts alike, is his willingness to usher in a new era at Bavaria. The 47-year-old has already made some big changes in the defensive department by bringing in Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard while Mats Hummels has returned to Borussia Dortmund.
Jerome Boateng has also been a subject of a move away from the club. This has raised questions as to whether Bayern Munich have bitten too much by replacing these two experienced defenders with young prospects. And it’s likely Kovac will want to make more changes to help Bayern once again become a strong contender for the UEFA Champions League next season. And here, at the Hard Tackle, we will discuss three players, who could help them achieve that.
Leroy Sane – Manchester City
Bayern Munich will have to cope without the services of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery next season as both of them have left the club at the end of last season. Robben has already retired from football while Ribery is currently a free agent.
Nonetheless, their departure has left a huge void in Bayern’s wide-attacking department. And though Kovac boasts the services of two talented wingers in Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry, he will need to sign at least one more wide-attacker, especially considering how Coman has struggled with injuries throughout his career.
Manchester City’s Leroy Sane, to that end, is arguably the best option available at the moment. Bayern have recently admitted defeat in their pursuit of the German international, but they definitely need to double their efforts to land his services this summer.
A product of the famed Schalke youth academy, Sane has the experience of playing in the Bundesliga, which will help him settle in quickly unlike the other targets including Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi. Furthermore, the 23-year-old has the pace and tenacity, which could tune in well with Kovac’s aggressive style of football, thus making him an ideal target for the German champions.
Alexander Nubel – FC Schalke
Bayern Munich have almost fixed their defensive woes by signing the versatile French defensive duo of Hernandez and Pavard. However, the goalkeeping department still remains an issue.
Club’s first choice ‘keeper, Manuel Neuer has suffered from injuries in the past couple of seasons. And the Bavarians have duly struggled in his absence, with second choice ‘keeper, Sven Ulreich, despite his shot-stopping qualities, often failing to fill in the rather large shoes of the German international.
Besides, at the age of 33, Neuer is nearing the final phase of his career. Therefore, it would perhaps be wiser for them to secure a long-term replacement and very few fit the bill better than Schalke youngster Alexander Nubel.
The German U-21 international rose to prominence in the Ruckrunde of last season, when he replaced current Norwich City star Ralf Fahrmann and became the first-choice at Schalke. He also delivered a host of consistent performances in goal, helping the Royal Blues somehow evade the wrath of relegation.
Nubel has a vast room for improvement, and at the age of 22, he could be a smart long-term investment for Bayern Munich. But most importantly, he could solidify the goalkeeping department and provide Bayern with an excellent alternative to Neuer, who is more than capable of taking on the mantle of regular first-team football next season.
Robert Lewandowski has been by far the most consistent players for Bayern Munich in the last five years. Since joining the club in 2014, the Polish international has already plundered as many as 191 goals in just 242 competitive matches.
However, Bayern have struggled in the absence of Lewandowski and have always lacked any reliable back-up for the ex-Dortmund star. Sandro Wagner failed horribly while Thomas Muller has scored only 19 goals in the last three seasons, thus accentuating the need for a new striker, especially Lewy turning 31 next month.
Timo Werner, in that regard, could be the ideal option for the German champions. The ex-Stuttgart man is expected to leave RB Leipzig, with his current contract expiring at the end of next season. That means the factory giants need to sanction a sale this summer unless they want to see him leave for free next summer.
Hence, Werner could be available on a cheap and Bayern could be an ideal destination for the German international. He can not only be considered as a potential long-term replacement for Lewandowski and can also add more bite to the Bayern Munich attack that could help them pose a strong challenge for the Champions League next season.