Transfer window 2.0 and Bayern Munich is already ahead of the curve
The 2017 summer transfer window just opened. Two days ago in fact. But Bayern Munich’s best move of the year is likely already a month old. It was then that the defending Bundesliga 1 champs signed 21-year-old former Arsenal and Werder Bremen star, Serge Gnabry.
Gnabry—who tallied a hat trick in his first-ever appearance for the German men’s senior national team in World Cup qualifying in 2016—is, as you might’ve guessed, one heck of a goal-scorer. He also scored 6 as an Olympian at the 2016 Rio Summer Games.
The rich get richer
Wait, I can hear you asking, why in heaven’s name would a team consisting of Arjen Robben and Robert Lewandowski need another goal scoring threat? Those two alone accounted for over 40 goals last season. In fact, the pair scored at least as often as over half of the teams in the entire league.
Of course more offense is nearly always a good thing. But given the past year’s loss of both Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso, you would think that Carlo Ancelotti and company would be more focused on shoring up their side’s defense.
Such moves may be forthcoming even this summer of course. For now, however, acquiring Gnabry may be exactly what Bayern needs.
Gnabry now or Gnabry later?
Since signing him to a three year contract Ancelotti has let it be known that he might not mind loaning Gnabry out for a term.
But Ancelotti himself is facing some criticism for the past year’s “failure” to bring home more than one title. He is under pressure this time to produce at least a double.
Two facts are obvious to any Bayern observer, Carlo Ancelotti included:
First is that the style of play favored by RB Leipzig is the style of the league’s future. It is a kind of total football that forges goals from the center of the field. Gnabry is exactly the kind of player to deliver that style.
He is a winger with pretensions of being a midfield playmaker. Like so many of his current national team generation he can be dangerous in any part of the attacking third. Bayern will need players such as Gnabry to move forward into that kind of future.
And they will probably need him sooner rather than later.
The future of Bayern and Bayern in the future
The second observable fact is that it has been almost a full decade since the foundation of the present Bayern squad was set by Hitzfeld and Magrath. The painful truth is that time waits for no man regardless of the brilliance of his turn or his finish.
Franck Ribéry is 34 and Arjen Robben is 33. Ribéry has appeared in only about half of his club’s league matches over the last three years.
Robben, meanwhile, bounced back very convincingly from serious injury in 2016. And last year he was able to perform up to his standard. The Dutchman is contracted for just one more year with Bayern.
Naturally for either one there is always the chance that sentiment might drag them home to finish out their playing career.
Time waits for no man. And Serge Gnabry turns 22 on July 14.