Bayern’s first big loss of the season: The transfer deadline day clock
Despite the delight at Harry Kane’s arrival, when the dust settles on a frantic summer transfer window, Bayern Munich will have to sit down and ask themselves some long, hard questions as to how they managed to get things so badly wrong in the final days and hours of the window.
Usually ahead of the field when it comes to transfer dealings, Bayern go into the Hinrunde and the start of the Champions League campaign with a squad that is less than ideally set-up after the Bavarians missed out on three major transfer targets while at the same time selling key players without replacements.
The final day of the transfer window actually turned into a bit of a farce at the Sabener Straße with top midfield target Joao Palhina passing his medical and rushing to sign a contract one minute, and then departing Munich airport to return to Fulham the next.
Thomas Tuchel finally looked to be getting the natural number six he has long campaigned for and with Bayern ultimately agreeing to pay Fulham the €60 million they were demanding, the whole deal looked on. The stumbling block came however when the English side came up blank in their search for a replacement with Manchester United’s Scott McTominay declining a move to London.
Having left the deal to the very last minute, Fulham pulled the plug on Bayern’s deal and retained the Portuguese midfielder. Bayern were denied the piece of the jigsaw that Tuchel really wanted.
At the same time, Bayern had negotiated a deal to sell Ryan Gravenberch to Liverpool. While €40 million represents a profit of €22 million in just one season for Bayern, they sold a player without having a replacement in the bag. Some will say good riddance to the Dutchman, who was only ever going to be a back-up, but who is going to be the back-up now?
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The same issue has come to the fore with regards Bayern’s right back berth. Both Benjamin Pavard and Josip Stanisic were allowed to leave with the Frenchman sold to Inter having made his desire to leave crystal clear, while the Croat was loaned to Bayer Leverkusen in a move that Thomas Tuchel admitted was a little stupid.
““Yes, you could argue that (keeping him would have been better). The decision doesn’t look fortunate for us now. When we made the decision to let Stani go, there was no offer for Pavard. There’s a big gap in the position” Tuchel admitted in the press conference ahead of the trip to Mönchengladbach.
Bayern were also reportedly in serious talks to sign Trevoh Chalobah from Chelsea as well as defender Armel Bella-Kotchap from Southampton, but both deals came to nothing.
How it came to pass that Bayern got things so wrong and ended up selling Pavard, Gravenberch and Stanisic without attaining any notable replacements will no doubt come to light. Should things pan out well for the Rekordmeister, this will all be forgotten, but the blame game is sure to ramp up the minute things start to go awry (like they did last season).
The midfield issue is not such a problem, even if Tuchel didn’t get his wish for a new number six fulfilled. Bayern have Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Konrad Laimer, and even Raphael Guerreiro could play there, so they are not exactly short on quality.
The right back slot on the other hand could come back to haunt them should anything happen to Noussair Mazraoui. Konrad Laimer looks like he could be Bayern’s secondary right back with academy youngster Tarek Buchmann providing cover at centre back.
This is not the Bayern way. The usual efficiency and organisation went out the metaphorical transfer window on Friday and the club are short in some areas now. New sporting director Christoph Freund will want to analyse the decision-making processes at the club and work out why Bayern were left scrambling around with minutes to spare only to be left empty handed.