Transfer Deadline Day 2020: The Results
Maurice: This might turn out to be the sneaky great signing of this transfer window and just like the not so sneaky great signing of Leroy Sané it comes with a little bit of a history. Marc Roca was on the verge of joining Bayern last season, but ultimately Salihamidzic failed to convince the board to activate his release clause, which was at an astounding 40 million Euros at that point. One summer later, Brazzo snags him up for a mere 9 million, which could increase to 15 million. Seems like a bargain.
Looking at the player Bayern got, one can see why Bayern’s scouts fell in love with the 23-year old Spaniard. Roca put in a superb outing at last year’s U21 European championship showing his entire skill set of precise long balls, fast short passes and physical appearance. It remains to be seen whether his defensive effort is up to the task of Flick, but Roca fills the gap left by Thiago. Even though he interprets his role differently from his fellow countryman. With Roca in the squad, Flick will be able to give Kimmich some much needed rest. At the same time, both could also be featured together for a more compact center.
Marc: I am probably unreasonably excited by this signing given that he’s a 31 year old back up that we acquired for free. This excitement goes beyond just acquiring a player with an unquestionably cool name though. His time in the Bundesliga, specifically playing against Bayern, left an impression on me. First and foremost, I like his attitude. He plays with an energy and enthusiasm that is rare in professional football and above all he appears to truly enjoy being on the field. Far too many players forget that this is a game that also happens to be a profession and ultimately when it stops being fun, the creativity and excitement goes out for everyone.
For Choupo-Moting, this most often manifests itself in unpredictable movements upfront that lead to dangerous situations. His willingness to work while still enjoying the process is a trait that I think will fit in very well with the current squad. By all accounts, he is also an excellent personality to add to the locker room in general. Additionally, I like the fact that he can conceivably fill in at multiple positions including as a backup for Lewandowski, Müller and on the wings. While he will certainly not be the first or even second option in most if not all of these positions, he can fill in and likely perform at a high enough level that the squad shouldn’t be devastated by a single absence. Maybe the most important thing though, is that he should be able to give Lewandowski a rest every once in a while which could be very important with the grueling schedule ahead.
Maurice: It is hard to see Sarr as anything but the second to last bullet in Brazzos colt. The Frenchman joins Bayern after the treble winner openly courted Sergiño Dest to join the team. This deal ultimately fell through as Barça was able to offer more playing time and therefore the better perspective for the young American. At least according to the media, further inquiries for English right-backs such as Max Aarons failed as well so Bayern went with Sarr instead.
The 28-year old was a regular in Marseille’s first team last season. His playing style is rather vertical as he really plows that right sideline. While his dribbling skills are somewhere in between Pavard and Davies, his offensive output in the last few seasons was limited, registering seven assists in the past three Ligue 1 seasons. His strengths still lie on offense, while his defensive impact remains to be seen. However, he will serve as a good backup option at right back to give Pavard some rest. Here’s to hoping that his tenure at Bayern is more successful than the one of the last right back replacement Odriozola.
Marc: This one has received such a wide range of emotions from the Bayern fan base that it’s hard to know where to begin. His departure back in 2017 left a bitter note in many of the supporters’ psyche. Uli Honess’s comments on his departure at that time probably played more than a small role in that perception and when coupled with his inability to live up to the expectations thrust upon him on the field, the general consensus was that no one was sorry to see the back of him.
Fast forward 3 seasons and things have changed considerably. The expectations for Costa now are not as an heir apparent for Frank Ribery, they are as a 4th winger behind Sane, Gnabry and Coman. His own expectations for playing time too will also be less than they were when he left. Therefore this is a role and situation that I feel like he can fill reasonably well. I also think it will be interesting to see what kind of influence Hansi Flick will have on him, though this is true for all of the new signings. How will Flick use him? Will the treble-winning coach be able to squeeze that little extra out of him? Flick has had tremendous success with the likes of Müller and Boateng since he has taken over, so there is real reason to hope that he may be able to do the same with the likes of Costa and Choupo-Moting and I for one am excited to see how things develop.
Maurice: It’s time to say goodbye. After five years at Bayern and a whole bag of trophies to show for it, Sven Ulreich leaves Southern Germany to claim a starting spot as goalie again. Somewhat surprisingly he does not join a Bundesliga team, but rather the
extinct old dinosaur that is the Hamburger SV. Apparently, the wage demands of Ulreich were just too high for the average Bundesliga club and Bayern did not want to subsidise one of their direct opponents. Philanthropy does stop somewhere…
For Ulreich it will be a chance to show on a regular level what he learned training alongside one of the greatest goalkeepers ever. The 32-year old ended up playing 45 matches for the Reds, while playing most of the 2018 season when Neuer was badly injured. Ulreich was able to demonstrate his skills to a level where Jogi Löw almost had to nominate him for the World Cup in Russia. Maybe his blunder in the Champions League knockout stage against Real Madrid closed that door. One thing is for certain, I personally wish Sven ZuNullreich the best of luck on his new adventure and hopefully we can see him in Germany’s first division again next season.
Marc: I have mixed emotions on this departure. Nearly as mixed as the actual transfer was. First he was staying, then he was going to Leeds, then that fell through, then we thought he might stay again and ultimately he was sent on loan to Marsille with an option to buy for a reported 10 million euro next year. That is quite the rollercoaster over just a few days. Ultimately I feel as though Bayern let him go relatively cheaply because they were concerned about his personality in the team if he were to stay and not play after nearly leaving earlier.
There is no questioning his raw talent. He has the physical abilities to develop into a very exciting player. Honestly, given the midfield options that Bayern now have with the arrival of Roca, he was likely not going to get a ton of match time and as a 21 year old, it is easy to make the case that he would be better off at a smaller club getting playing time than at a bigger club sitting on the bench. Given the reports from Gladbach prior to his arrival, I think we all have to give him credit for not being a negative influence in the squad. He showed up, worked hard and seemed to get along with the other players. The few matches he did play were generally positive although not without inconsistencies as well. His time in Munich may have been short, but he won 5 trophies and surely will have benefited from his time here. Like Renato Sanches last season, I genuinely wish him well. He has tons of potential and if he can ever live up to that, he has a very bright future ahead of him.
Maurice: While a move for Fein would’ve raised some eyebrows in July, it doesn’t really come as a surprise now. The returnee from Hamburg never gained his footing in the first team as Flick clearly did not trust him to fill a roster spot. The young German started with high hopes and lots of praise for his season at the Elbe, where he played a superb first half of the season in the second league. It is unknown why Flick never gave him a true chance to show his skills, but Fein clearly got demoted to the second tier and even had to help out in the second team. The loan to Eindhoven gives him another chance to shine and gather experience on a higher level. Maybe next summer things look differently at Bayern…
Maurice: Bayern fans all around the globe and our amazing writer Katrin in particular can rejoice: Javi is staying at Bayern for another season. While it looked as if the Spaniard was set to leave for most of the transfer window, Martínez will now stay for another season. Possible moves to Qatar and his home team of Athletic Bilbao fell through for various reasons. In the end Bilbao supposedly wanted to sign Marínez for free. Not really a lucrative offer, if you ask me. Especially, when you think back eight years to the intense negotiations where Bilbao wasn’t letting go of Javi for one dime less than his release clause.
The signings of Roca and Kouassi will certainly cut into Martinez playing time, but don’t write off the sympathetic Basque just yet. Flick showed in the two Supercup matches against Sevilla and Dortmund that he trusts him on a big stage and Martinez proved him right. His game winning goal in Budapest made Bayern fans reminisce of his late game heroics versus Chelsea in the Supercup of 2013 and his strong outing against Dortmund made us all remember that on a good day he can still be that physical presence and relentless defender on the pitch.
Marc: I wonder if there has ever been such a controversial backup goalkeeper as Nübel. He was billed as the next great keeper in Germany. Then Schalke barely played him in the second half of the season following his confirmed move to Bayern. In addition, no one seems to agree what the best strategy is regarding his development. Stay at Bayern and train with and under Manuel Neuer or loan him out to get regular playing time at one of the numerous Bundesliga sides that would love to have him. To further complicate matters, Bayern’s assumption that Sven Ulreich would leave the club as a desired commodity early in the summer never came to fruition, probably in large part due to the financial constraints presented by the pandemic. So after months of telling us all that he was staying, Bayern started floating the idea of loaning Nübel out. Supposedly there were several teams that were very interested in the move, but ultimately Sven found a new home in Hamburg and any thought of Nübel moving became moot.
Ultimately, I think this might be the right move for the young goalkeeper. One season learning from Manuel Neuer is probably a net positive for his career. The lack of regular match practice is not great for his development but one year for a goalkeeper at 23 is a lesser blow than the same for an outfield player and the chance for him to understudy the greatest goalkeeper of a generation likely outweighs the negatives. This of course will change next season. There is a very good chance that he will need to go out on loan for at least one season unless Neuer decides to either concede playing time, which is unfathomable, or he decides to retire. However, for this season, Bayern still has a very good goalkeeper to back up Manuel Neuer and that goalkeeper has the chance to grow into a player who can live up to the lofty history that Bayern has set at that position.
Maurice: Wow. This could turn out as a major setback in the career of the young Dutchman, who saved Bayern’s campaign last season with two crucial goals in late winter. While Zirkzee failed to show more than flashes whenever Flick gave him the opportunity to start games, another season backing up Lewandowski or on loan as a starter could have greatly improved his chances to one day feature as a regular in Munich’s lineup. However, loan deals to numerous places fell through. First, Choupo-Moting was signed and will significantly cut into his playing time. Then a loan to Köln was imminent but the two clubs could not work it out, just like a possible deal to PSV Eindhoven. In the end Zirzkee will now need to make the best out of a sub-optimal situation. Hopefully for him, Flick will still throw him into the mix every once in a while and he can help out in the second team from time to time. The latter being unlikely as Zirkzee was definitely planned in as a first-team player at least until the winter break.
Marc: Callum Hudson-Odoi is the itch that won’t go away for Brazzo. He HAS to have him…or at least he has to inquire about him. Chelsea seem intent on keeping him though also seem eager to see what kind of value he has on the open market. While there is no denying his talent, he is struggling to get consistent playing time in London and so it’s not hard to see why the player would be interested in a move. For Bayern, that talent at 19 years old was a very desirable commodity. He seemed like a perfect option to fill that 4th wing slot in the squad this season and potentially develop into something more.
Ultimately though, Chelsea’s valuation of the player, especially in The Time of Corona was a bit too much for Bayern’s fiscal conservatism. Personally, I think there is a chance we have dodged a bullet here in a sense. While Costa and Choupo-Moting do not have the potential to develop into the player that Hudson-Odoi might, they likely will be far more accepting of their roles in the team and therefore cause less strife. I also feel as though Bayern would not have been the best place for Callum to grow as a player. He needs to get regular match time, which is something that he would not get as a 4th option in this Bayern squad. While there’s no doubt that he would have played some given the injury history of the players we have in those positions, he would have clearly been the last option in Hansi’s arsenal. So while Bayern may have missed out on a talented player and the potential to sell that player for a massive profit, they also may have saved themselves and Hudson-Odoi from a partnership that would have ended in disaster.