A poor transfer window could cost Bayern this season's Bundesliga title
Moving to Bayern Munich was supposed to be a dream come true for Julian Nagelsmann when he agreed to leave RB Leipzig in late April but it now risks becoming a nightmare for the young manager.
Of course, the 34-year-old tactician can brush off boos from Bayern fans because of his playing days with city rivals 1860 Munich and he’ll know well that every other coach in Europe is having to deal with the delayed return of star players from Euro 2020.
No, what likely keeps Nagelsmann up at night is the fear that his Bayern squad isn’t nearly as strong as previous iterations. And unless he works his magic in Munich this season, the club may be about to lose their first Bundesliga title race in 10 years.
Trouble with transfers
Most of Bayern’s issues undoubtedly come down to the club’s activity - or lack thereof - in the summer transfer window.
While Dayot Upamecano was a smart signing and Omar Richards could prove to be a bright prospect, both arrive at the Munich club to simply replace the departed Jerome Boateng and David Alaba in a squad that was already desperately in need of another winger, right-back and central midfielder.
Although he's not putting much pressure publicly, Julian Nagelsmann is pushing for transfers internally. The coach is not entirely happy with the thin squad [Bild]— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) August 12, 2021
While Nageslmann hasn’t directly criticised the club’s lack of spending after a season without fans in the stands, BILD did report this week that the young head coach has made it known that he’s unhappy with the lack of depth in his team. And he’s also made subtle references to it when discussing other topics.
“There is a risk that we will be left behind,” said Nagelsmann on Thursday when asked about the money spent by Manchester City, Chelsea and PSG. “I also occasionally rub my eyes in amazement at how it all works.”
However, it’s clear for all to see that the Bavarian giants are nowhere near full strength and any serious injuries to key first team players - such as the one Benjamin Pavard picked up this week - could quickly lead to youth players being drafted in to fill in the holes in Nagelsmann’s squad.
To compound Bayern’s inactivity in the transfer market further, it does seem as though their main rivals for the league title this season, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig, have fared rather well.
Of course, Dortmund lost star player Jadon Sancho to Manchester United, but the club had been planning for that for some time and with Gio Reyna, Thorgan Hazard, Marco Reus and new signing Donyell Malen, the club have plenty of cover. Crucially, they are also now likely to keep a hold of Erling Haaland for another season. And he’s exactly the kind of talent that can turn a title race in Dortmund’s favour.
Add prolific striker Andre Silva - who scored more goals than Haaland in the Bundesliga last season - and Dominik Szoboszlai (who joined in January but was injured until a few weeks ago) to that roster and new head coach Jesse Marsch undoubtedly has a squad that can challenge Bayern for their title.
"Bayern Munich have the best starting eleven,” noted Lothar Matthaus in his pre-season predictions this week. “But the best squad is RB Leipzig."