Pat's 2021/2022 Bayern Munich Guide


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By. Patrick Smietanka


As a whole-hearted Bayern Munich fan through and through, I’ve decided to create an in-depth guide for the Bavarian giants this upcoming campaign (that has just started a few weeks ago). After finishing off last season with a league title once again, Bayern will want to continue their streak which currently stands at 9 Bundesliga titles in a row since the 2012-2013 season. This summer was pretty quiet for the Bavarians as not many transfers were coming in and out, unlike the likes of PSG signing Lionel Messi, Manchester United signing Cristiano Ronaldo, and Chelsea with Romelu Lukaku. Nevertheless, this guide will provide detailed facts and statistics to see what this season holds for Bayern Munich.


Transfers

As mentioned, Bayern we’re pretty quiet this summer. A surprise to many, 3 Bayern legends departed from Bavaria at the end of last season. Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez along with David Alaba ran up their contracts and will not be returning to Bayern this 2021/2022 campaign. German centre-back Jerome Boateng has spent 10 years at the club since transferring from Manchester City in 2011, at the moment of writing this he currently is still without a club. Spanish defensive midfielder Javi Martinez had also finished his contract after spending 9 years at Bayern and has now moved to Qatar SC in the Qatar Stars League. Most surprising of all is Versatile Austrian defender David Alaba, Alaba had joined Bayern’s youth academy in 2008 and made his way up the ranks to become one of Bayern's most consistent starting defenders throughout his whole career in the Bundesliga. The 3 of them will be remembered for their loyalty and dependence in Bavaria all winning multiple Bundesliga trophies along with 2 champions leagues each. Other notable names departing are only for short-term loans, the first of those being Alexander Nubel as he looks to be getting more experience in France with AS Monaco as he’s seen to be Manuel Neuer’s successor. Chris Richards has also gone on loan to Hoffenheim again, as his performances last season for Hoffenheim displayed his defensive talent and versatility to play either side of fullback as well as in the centre. Ron-Thorben Hoffmann, Lukas Mai, Adrian Fein and Joshua Zirkzee are also being loaned out to get more experience in their newly respected clubs. Zirkzee looks to have started on the right foot after already getting on the scoresheet for Anderlecht in his first few games, many Bayern coaches believe him to be the future back-up to Robert Lewandowski.


Departures

  • David Alaba to Real Madrid (free transfer)

  • Javi Martinez to Qatar SC (free transfer)

  • Jerome Boateng without a club

  • Alexander Nubel to AS Monaco (loan transfer)

  • Chris Richards to Hoffenheim (loan transfer)

  • Lars Lukas Mai to Werder Bremen (loan transfer)

  • Joshua Zirkzee to RSC Anderlecht (loan transfer)

  • Ron-Thorben Hoffman to Sunderland (loan transfer)

  • Adrian Fein to Greuther Furth (loan transfer)

  • Tiago Dantas to Benfica (end of loan)


Bayern is coming into this season after the multiple successes with now German National Team coach Hansi Flick, this season a managerial change was put in after the Bavarians appointed Julian Naglesmann as coach until 2026. The surprising young 34-year-old Julian Nagelsmann is coming to Bayern after very positive spells at Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig for a fee of 25 million Euros. As for the new player arrivals that have come to Bayern, they are mainly focused on the defensive aspects as the departed players will leave quite a big hole to be filled this season. The big-name signing of Bayern’s summer is RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano, the French 22-year-old centre-back has been one of the most promising Bundesliga defenders in recent years and now he will be playing in Munich for a fee of 42.5 million Euros. Technically signed before the summer window opened, Bayern had made an agreement back in February of 2021 before other top European clubs could manage to get the Frenchman’s signature. He has already started in the first few games this season and has looked very promising so far. One of the last names to arrive in Munich this summer is Austrian midfielder Marcel Sabitzer. The box-to-box midfielder arrived from RB Leipzig a few days before the summer transfer window closed for a fee of 15 million Euros. Another RB Leipzig player arriving at Munich but a much-needed one as Bayern’s midfield depth is where they were lacking the most. Another new name is 23-year-old Englishman Omar Richards who is arriving from Reading on a free transfer. The English defender mainly plays at left-back and will look to provide more depth as an option behind Alphonso Davies as Lucas Hernandez has been planned to play a more central role this season. Ex-Bayern goalkeeper Sven Ulreich has also been re-signed on a free transfer after leaving Bayern for Hamburger SV at the beginning of last season in October of 2020. He returns once again as a backup for Manuel Neuer while Nubel is on loan, many Bayern fans will remember him from his heroic run in the 2017/2018 season when Neuer was injured and Ulreich played 47 games all season to bring us the Bundesliga title. As for the other names returning to Bayern, Christian Fruchtl and Michael Cuisance return from loan at their respective clubs.


Arrivals

  • Julian Nagglesmann from RB Leipzig (25 million Euros)

  • Dayot Upamecano from RB Leipzig (42.5 million Euros)

  • Marcel Sabitzer from RB Leipzig (15 million Euros)

  • Omar Richards from Reading (free transfer)

  • Sven Ulreich from Hamburger SV (free transfer)

  • Christian Früchtl from 1.FC Nuremberg (end of loan)

  • Michael Cuisance from Marseille (end of loan)


Lineup

This season’s lineup will look about the same as last year minus a few notable names in the defence of course. Bayern’s squad this year will incorporate household names but also rely on its youthful prospects to help lift their squad to success. In the goalkeeper department, Bayern’s captain and number 1, Manuel Neuer will most likely start most/all of their games this season. The now 35-year-old shot-stopper has been consistently at the top of his game the last few seasons and his form doesn’t look to be slowing down, Ulreich and Früchtl may have a few games here and there but for the most part, Neuer will be the number one again this season.


Goalkeepers

  • Manuel Neuer (1)

  • Sven Ulreich (26)

  • Christian Früchtl (36)


As for the defenders, a lot of changes will be made depending on the formation Nagelsmann wants to configure. For the fullbacks/wingbacks, on the left Alphonso Davies will solidify his position as left-back, left wing-back, and even left-winger at some points as well. If Davies isn’t fit or injured, Omar Richards has been brought in to play that role as well, he needs experience but in Bayern’s friendlies, he seems very fast and can dribble well but needs confidence in his defending. On the right 3-4 different players are in contention for that spot, Benjamin Pavard may continue with that right-back role but may potentially be moved into a central spot due to his lacklustre positioning. Bouna Sarr is also an option to play at right-back but his defensive issues have proved problematic last season. Lastly, Josip Stanisic, the surprising youth star that has already started in a couple matches for Bayern this season has flourished into the starting fullback, he may need experience but has so far looked very promising. In the middle Nagelsmann has very strong options to play in the center. Niklas Sule, the 6’5” tank is a little slow to get back once he starts pushing forward, but defensively very stable and a great option for a holding defender. Lucas Hernandez is also a starting defender as his defensive consistencies of last season helped save Bayern in multiple situations and now he’s planned to be permanently moved into the center. New French star Dayot Upamecano is another addition to strengthen Bayern’s defence, the agile, tall, defensively composed center back is just as useful as Sule and Hernandez for that starting role but needs to integrate into the setup a little more to get into his stride. Last but certainly not least, Tanguy Nianzou, the 5th French defender Bayern have in their arsenal, Nianzou arrived at Munich last season but was sidelined due to injury. The 19-year-old has already played a couple of games in Bavaria and is truly one for Bayern’s future.


Defenders

  • Niklas Sule (4)

  • Dayot Upamecano (2)

  • Lucas Hernandez (21)

  • Tanguy Nianzou (23)

  • Alphonso Davies (19)

  • Omar Richards (3)

  • Benjamin Pavard (5)

  • Bouna Sarr (20)

  • Josip Stanisic (44)


Bayern’s midfield of the past 2 seasons has really been dependent on the German duo of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka. Joshua Kimmich, the more defensive midfielder of the two will look to maintain his position within that midfield for as many games as Nagelsmann can possibly start him. He’s been a leader and a unit for the Bavarians as well as a key player in their successes of recent years, his defensive awareness, passing ability, and stamina to run through 90 minutes make him one of the most reliable players in the squad. Leon Goretzka on the other hand is the more box-to-box type midfield player, he can still play as that defensive-minded player but his attacking runs, physical presence, pace, and passing makes him an integral part of that always dominating midfield. That pairing will most likely be the popular choice for the Bavarians but newly signed Marcel Sabitzer is planned to be the ‘third option’ that strengthens the depth for Bayern. Similar to Goretzka, Sabitzer’s defending ability is just as good as his attacking play, his passing and shooting that can allow him to play a box-to-box role or as a defensive option too. For another midfield option, Corentin Tolisso consistently strives to prove himself and although he’s had memorable moments at Bayern, his injuries and positioning have left him vulnerable as a backup for the starting midfielders. As for Marc Roca (defensive midfielder) and Michael Cuisance (attacking midfielder), both midfielders are inevitably more options for Nagelsmann to rotate the squad but both still lack experience and mainly confidence in their positioning and composure.


Midfielders

  • Joshua Kimmich (6)

  • Leon Goretzka (8)

  • Marcel Sabitzer (18)

  • Corentin Tolisso (24)

  • Marc Roca (22)

  • Michael Cuisance (17)


Bayern’s attack this season see’s no changes from last year. The Polish goal-scoring machine Robert Lewandowski will continue to start up front in most of Bayern’s games as long as he’s fit. He’s already scored 5 goals in 3 games starting this Bundesliga campaign after breaking Gerd Muller’s record last season, now 33 years old, Lewandowski should retain his form and continue to lead that Bavarian attack. The backup option for Lewandowski will be Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, not as clinical or threatening the opposing defences as the Pole, but still is a reliable option as a substitute or starting striker in matches to rest Lewandowski. Thomas Muller, now in his 21st year at Bayern since joining the youth squad in 2000, the German maestro is still providing goals and assists playing behind Lewandowski. Muller will most likely be occupying that center forward/attacking midfield role, pulling the strings and delivering attacking opportunities on a platter. The winger situation at Bayern leaves 3 players to battle for a starting role. Serge Gnabry, the German winger can play on either side and even though the middle, his finishing ability and ball control make him very difficult for defenders to mark and looks to be starting on the right side as he is favourable there over the other 2 attackers. Leroy Sane, the other German winger was a pretty hefty transfer last season when arriving to Munich, a lot of hype and promise but still hasn’t shown his true potential just yet. After a few spells on the right side, it’s safe to say the pacey agile attacker will play on the left, trying to fly into the box and beat defenders on the counter-attack. Kingsley Coman, the UCL Final goalscorer, another household name at Bayern, playing his 6th year in the Bundesliga, the super-fast, skillful winger has the ability to play on either side. The inconsistent performances between Sane and Coman give either player an option to start in the attack. The final attacking player is Bayern’s current golden boy Jamal Musiala, the German youngster can play in the midfield or in the attack on the wings. The 18-year-old has shown remarkable dribbling ability but certainly needs to integrate more with the squad to have that composure he lacks, nevertheless, Musiala has shown such quality that a starting role would not be surprising as he definitely has proved it.


Attackers

  • Robert Lewandowski (9)

  • Serge Gnabry (7)

  • Leroy Sane (10)

  • Thomas Muller (25)

  • Kingsley Coman (11)

  • Jamal Musiala (42)

  • Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (13)


Expectations/Predictions

For the 2021/2022 season, Bayern will be battling against some top clubs in both the Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League.


Bundesliga + DFB-Pokal

The Bavarians would love to win their 10th Bundesliga title in a row and with the new additions and current form Bayern are in, a title-winning season may be among them. Teams such as RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund should not be overlooked as players such as Andre Silva, Erling Halaand and Donyell Malen are still hungry for success in their respective clubs. New transfers, experienced players and the return of fans within stadiums are all factors that can contribute toward or against Bayern’s reign this season. That being said, many players have also left the Bundesliga over the summer such as Jadon Sancho, Mattheus Cunha, Leon Bailey as well as Ibrahima Konate just to name a few; without some of the Bundesliga’s big hitters, Bayern could just as well take advantage this season with their new signings.


Pat’s Bundesliga Prediction: 1st Place

Pat’s DFB-Pokal Prediction: Semi-Final or Final


UEFA Champions League

Winning the UCL in the 2019/2020 campaign, Bayern unfortunately we’re knocked out in the quarter-finals last season by Paris Saint Germain on an aggregate of 3-3 which they lost on away goals. The Bavarians didn’t have their goal-scoring machine Lewandowski for either leg as he was ruled out with injury. This season will not be any easier however, clubs such as PSG, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester United, and Manchester City have upgraded their squads during the summer and look beyond threatening this season. The likes of Messi, Hakimi, Donnaruma and Ramos at PSG for one look to be the team to beat, one of the few favourites that will prove a difficult challenge if Bayern has to face them. In Bayern’s group, they will play FC Barcelona, Benfica, and Dynamo Kyiv. Bayern, Barcelona, and Benfica look like the favourites to challenge out of the group. Overall, with the amount of serious competition and talent in this upcoming UCL campaign, Bayern will have to maintain steady fitness and dominant form so they could have a chance to challenge for glory. Bayern has the defence, midfield, and attack to go all the way as they did 2 years ago, nevertheless, if the stars align and everyone can stay fit, the Bavarians look like one of the favourites to go all the way.


Pat’s UCL Prediction: Semi-Final (hopefully final)