FC Bayern: The Preview
The Bundesliga season is just a matter of days away, so it’s time to preview every side ahead of another exciting campaign.
Today… FC Bayern
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The Story of Last Season:
A 10th consecutive Bundesliga title was almost a formality for the FC Bayern last season, now overtaking Juventus for the longest uninterrupted title-run in top 5 European league history.
The habitual beer shower and Meisterschale presentation still took place, but both were rather subdued after a year which saw disappointment in both domestic and international cup competition.
A 5:0 defeat to Borussia M’gladbach in the Pokal second round was Bayern’s largest defeat in over 44-years, whilst a Champions League exit to Villarreal left massive question marks surrounding Julian Nagelsmann’s tactics, and the squad’s ability to compete at the highest level.
If the 35-year old managerial talent has what it takes is still up in the air, but the question marks around the squad have clearly been addressed in FCB’s biggest summer window for some time.
The shocking departure of Robert Lewandowski aside, sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić has bolstered the squad with equal part experience and talent.
Now that Nagelsmann has a squad formed in his image, the pressure to win the Champions League and keep the domestic competition at bay will be substantially greater than what he experienced in his first year in Munich.
The Star Player:
Robert Lewandowski may have been the headliner at FC Bayern for the better part of the last decade, but his 27-year old teammate Joshua Kimmich is the true heartbeat at the centre of Bayern’s dominance.
The former VFB Stuttgart talent has been with Bayern since 2015, winning 7 Bundesliga titles, 3 German cups, and the Champions League in his time in Munich. He’s shown great versatility in his FCB career - playing anywhere from centerback, to right back and defensive midfield - but it’s clear to see that he’s best placed in the central hub of Bayern’s game.
There, he regularly dictates the tempo of the game, strategically choosing when to slow or speed up proceedings.
The stats back up this assessment as well. Despite missing 6 Bundesliga matches last season, Kimmich led the division in total touches, progressive passes, and passes into the final third.
Another lengthy absence to Bayern’s midfield conductor could have a significant impact on Der Rekordmeister’s chances of extending their title lead.
The U23 One to Watch:
Alphonso Davies (21) is arguably the best left back in world football right now, but there’s something about teammate Jamal Musiala that makes you feel like you’re watching a generational talent every time he steps onto the pitch.
In the Supercup season opener vs RB Leipzig the 19-year old proved his otherworldly quality once more, scoring and assisting to help Bayern to their first title of the new season.
Despite immense competition from the likes of Thomas Müller, Kingsley Coman, and Leroy Sané, you wouldn’t find many complaining if Musiala featured in every key fixture of Bayern’s season next year, and despite starting just a handful of matches in all competitions last season, every time he was afforded a chance from the start the German international stepped up to the mark. In 16 starts in all competitions, Bayern won 11, drew 4, and lost just once.
Whether as a box-to-box midfielder, creative playmaker, or technical left winger, Musiala has all of the tools to become a Ballon d’Or contender in the future.
Dayot Upamecano was signed with big expectations last summer.
The French international didn’t just cost Der Rekordmeister over €40m, but the 23-year old centerback was the absolute wish-player from manager Nagelsmann who had previously coached him in Leipzig.
A year on though, Upamecano has delivered only a fraction of the talent Bayern were hoping for.
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