After an underwhelming 2016/17 campaign for Carlo Ancelotti’s team, Bayern Munich seems more poised than ever to make this season an absolute success. Five straight domestic titles is a feat not matched by many other clubs in Europe.
The Bavarian giants are looking to make their presence felt in the Champions League this season. They’ve not hoisted the UCL since 2012/13. That season they beat German rivals Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at Wembley in the final.
That year was the single greatest year for any German club in history. Bayern won the league title, the domestic cup, and the highly sought after Champions League. It was the first time in history that a German club completed the treble.
So the question is: can Bayern repeat that historical year again this year? Coming into the season they are the clear favorites to win their sixth straight Bundesliga title. Rivals Dortmund and newcomers RB Leipzig are sure to be in the running for first as well just like last season.
With all the new additions to Ancelotti’s already strong team, Bayern may be ready to make a statement to the rest of Europe. The biggest addition coming in the form of Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez on a two-year loan from Real Madrid.
Being pegged as a part time starter in the two full seasons at Madrid was not enough for the star midfielder. The two parties amicably agreed to go their separate ways. Adding him to the midfield will certainly open things up much more and should give star striker Robert Lewandowski plenty of room to net more goals.
Now Bayern will have three attackers in the central area with Lewandowski, James, and Thomas Muller. Last season was a very off year for the Muller. In 25 appearances he only scored 5 times while assisting 12 more goals. Compared to his 2015/16 season where he scored 20 times those numbers are very pedestrian. But so far in friendlies, Muller looks like his old self again meaning Bayern fans can breathe a sigh of relief.
Also, Bayern Munich made the club’s largest ever signing this summer, acquiring young midfielder Corentin Tolisso from Lyon for €41.5m to replace the retired Xabi Alonso. The bargain additions of Sebastian Rudy and Niklas Sule will add some much-needed depth to their bench as well.
The main concern for Bayern now lies at right back after longtime captain Philipp Lahm decided to hang up his boots. Rafinha might seem like the logical decision, but young Joshua Kimmich keeps on impressing during his time on the pitch. He has seen some big game action for Bayern Munich and seems to have matured well past his age. There’s no doubt about his technical skill and decision making. Just this summer he helped lead Germany to a Confederations Cup victory. He may be the new heir apparent to the legendary Lahm.
It appears Carlo Ancelotti will have no shortage of talent this season to work with. If everyone minus James Rodriguez (thigh injury) is ready for the season opener there’s no telling how explosive this team could be.
The real concern lies within the realm of the Champions League. After being ousted by eventual winners Real Madrid last season, Bayern needs to focus on staying healthy and showing their class against the big boys.