Just three days after sealing a record fourth consecutive Bundesliga title, Bayern Munich have bolstered their impressive squad with the additions of Borussia Dortmund’s captain Mats Hummels, 27, and highly rated Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches, 18, from Benfica.
Bayern, who will be under the leadership of three-time Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti next season, have signed both players on five year deals until 2021. The Bavarian club have reportedly paid €35 million (£27.5m) for the 18-year-old Sanches, however the deal will most likely rise to over €40 million and potentially as high as €80 million. The fee negotiated between Dortmund and Bayern Munich over Hummels has yet to be disclosed as both clubs have agreed a “silence” over the deal.
Sanches gained the attention of Europe’s biggest clubs after a fantastic breakthrough season at Benfica. The versatile player who plays mainly as a central midfielder, but also on the left wing, has been compared to Manchester City’s Yaya Touré and former Juventus and Tottenham player Edgar Davids. He is known for both his strength and wide range of passing, as well his ability to dictate the tempo. All of these characteristics help him flourish as a box-to-box midfielder who can dominate the midfield.
He has been instrumental to Benfica’s success this season. The Eagles are two points clear of city rivals Sporting CP at the top the Portuguese league with just one game to play. Sanches was impressive for Benfica in both legs against the club he is set to join, as Bayern ran out 3-2 winners on aggregate in the Champions League quarter-final.
The signing of Hummels from rivals Borussia Dortmund sees the 27-year-old return to the club at which he started his career. He failed to make an impact at Bayern, making just two appearances for the first team, but has flourished since he made the move from the Allianz Arena to the Westfalenstadion. He has won two Bundesliga titles as well as the German cup and two German Supercups since joining Dortmund and has become one of the world’s most sought-after defenders.
Hummels is highly rated due to his numerous defensive strengths. He is renowned for his strength, physical presence in the air and his ability to read the game. He can also play in defensive midfield and is very composed both on and off the ball.
Despite Bayern Munich already possessing some of the best defenders in the world in Jerome Boateng, David Alaba and Mehdi Benatia, Hummels will bring more depth to a position where Bayern are lacking, as was displayed in Bayern’s defensive injury crisis earlier this year. Renato Sanches will add extra physical presence in midfield and will allow the more attack-minded midfielders to flourish.