Bayern Munich have swung for the fences during the transfer window, bringing in four new players in Hoffenheim’s Sebastian Rudy on a free, Niklas Süle for €20 million, as well as Werder Bremen’s Serge Gnabry for €8 million. The record champions were able to retain on-loan winger Kinglsey Coman from Juventus for €21 million, but their big money signing comes in the form of Corentin Tolisso from Lyon for a club record €41.5 million.
There is no doubting the intention of manager Carlo Ancelotti, which is to improve the club’s depth as they hope to make another deep run at the Champions League.
However, with the exclusion of Coman, who has been with Bayern for the past two season, will the new signings be able to break into an extremely strong starting XI or is their fate already sealed with a role warming the bench?
Getting to know Bayern’s new signings
Three of the four new signings are well recognised in the Bundesliga, whilst the Bayern’s record signing will soon get his first taste of top flight football in Germany, having joined from Ligue 1 club Lyon.
Defender Süle and defensive midfielder Rudy come from Hoffenheim and they helped the club from Sinsheim to a remarkable season in which they finished fourth and find themselves in the Champions League play-off. Rudy’s rise to prominence has been extremely impressive; an unknown commodity in Stuttgart before making the move to Hoffenheim and becoming a midfield general.
Under Nagelsmann, Rudy really excelled in that system and is subsequently a regular feature in the German national team, whilst his teammate Süle has been a revelation in Hoffenheim’s defence, touted as one of Germany’s hottest prospects.
Serge Gnabry’s rise to fame is perhaps more well-documented, as he struggled to find a first team place with Arsenal as well as during his short stint with West Brom. The young German came to Werder Bremen and had an outstanding season, helping to secure a move to Bayern.
The big money signing comes in the form of Corentin Tolisso, though, who joins from Lyon after an outstanding season in Ligue 1. Tolisso has been touted as a replacement for Xabi Alonso, who hung his boots up at the end of last season.
Competing against the world’s best
Naturally, joining one of the biggest and best sides in the world inherently entails competition with some of the world’s best players, which means Bayern’s four new signings could struggle for game time.
Corentin Tolisso: Thiago, Vidal, Kimmich, Sanches & Rudy
The 22-year old Frenchman comes to Bayern with a big money target on his back, hence pressure, and there’s no mistaking the fact that players already a part of the champions’ squad won’t be relinquishing their place anytime soon.
Tolisso was statically brilliant for Lyon last season, completing 1,991 passes, creating 42 chances, winning 34 tackles and 31 interceptions, as well scoring eight goals and providing five assists. Whether he can translate those numbers in the Bundesliga will be another matter, though, as he competes with Thiago, Arturo Vidal, Joshua Kimmich, Renato Sanches and new signing Sebastian Rudy.
Thiago was arguably the best player for Bayern Munich last season, ranking first in passes completed (2,251), creating 43 chances, which was best by a Bayern player, and finding the back of the net six times and providing five assists. With Thiago a guarantee, its very likely we will see Arturo Vidal as the heir to the throne vacated by Xabi Alonso, with Tolisso likely to be an impact sub.
Niklas Süle: Martinez, Hummels & Boateng
The young defender has been making waves in the Bundesliga and last season with Hoffenheim was no exception. In Nagelsmann system, Süle saw plenty of the ball, completing 2,007 successful passes, which was second best in the league, with his new team mate Thiago holding that title.
Süle is a very solid player, but breaking into the side seems unlikely unless Bayern decides to move on an ageing Javi Martinez or the disgruntled Jerome Boateng.
Martinez formed a good partnership with Mats Hummels and for Süle to break into the starting XI, it’ll be for an injury, otherwise he will be used sparingly in the DFB Pokal and as an unused substitute.
Serge Gnabry: Robben, Ribery, Coman, Costa & Müller
The signing of Serge Gnabry was a questionable one, in my opinion, although he was coming off an excellent season with Werder Bremen. It has nothing to do with talent, but how does Gnabry fit a system full of wingers including Arjen Robben, Franck Ribéry, Kinglsey Coman, Douglas Costa and on occasions Thomas Müller?
However, with Douglas Costa’s move to Juventus imminent, Gnabry will move up the depth chart, though only marginally. Like Süle, Gnabry could be a DFB Pokal specialist whilst being used as a junk-time substitute in already won games.
Sebastian Rudy: Rafinha & Kimmich
Sebastian Rudy brings some intrigue and versatility for Ancelotti and might be best placed for a regular spot for Bayern. Rudy generally applies his trade as a defensive midfielder, but with that position stacked, we could see Rudy playing as a right back, where he would be competing against Rafinha.
With the retirement of Philipp Lahm, Rafinha will be looking to cement that right back position of his own, but Rudy could be an option for Bayern, though Kimmich is, too, capable of playing in that spot. Rudy won 43% of duels last and created 64 chances on goal last season.
Thebavarians verdict: Benchwarmers
Although all four players would bring plenty to the table, it just won’t be this season with Bayern. Both Süle and Rudy should’ve stayed with Hoffenheim on the club’s first foray into European competition, whilst Gnabry might have done himself a smart service by linking up with Hoffenheim or RB Leipzig on loan.
Tolisso could be a useful player, but it’s unlikely he will regularly feature due to how many other central midfielders Bayern have. Ultimately, it doesn’t change the fabric of the club as they still have the strongest squad in the Bundesliga, whilst they cripple the league around them.