The winter transfer window is approaching shortly, and many teams across Europe are expected to make moves in it. Bayern Munich, who typically remain quiet in the January window, could be unusually active this time around. If Bayern Munich hope to get their season back on track in 2020, they would be wise to forgo their usual caution and bolster a few areas of their squad with winter transfers.
Bayern Munich Need Winter Transfers
Target Number One: A Right-Back
Since parting ways with Niko Kovac in early November, it has not been all smooth sailing for Bayern Munich. The Bavarians have experienced many highs since then, such as their 4-0 drubbing of Borussia Dortmund at home. Yet a sense still remains that this side is far from the European powerhouse it was just a few years ago. Even recent victories over Werder Bremen and SC Freiburg have masked problems that were entirely evident in watching the team play.
Most notably, the Bavarian backline is frail. Long-term injuries to Niklas Sule and Lucas Hernandez have left Bayern in a bad state. Jerome Boateng is far from the defender he once was, while Javi Martinez lacks the pace to keep up with many modern forwards. David Alaba has done an exceptional job filling in at center-back, though, and Alphonso Davies has been a revelation on the left side of the defense.
It is at right-back, however, where Bayern most need to seek squad improvements. Joshua Kimmich has become a mainstay in the Bavarian midfield, and rightly so. Hansi Flick’s men struggle without Kimmich’s presence in midfield. While Benjamin Pavard has occasionally performed admirably at right-back, he is far from the player Bayern need to occupy that position on a weekly basis.
Pavard lacks the speed and attacking capability required of a modern full-back. Compare his performances from right-back with those of Alphonso Davies from left-back and it becomes evident that the Frenchman simply is not convincing enough to be Bayern’s top choice in the position.
And the club knows this. According to transfermarkt, Bayern have their eyes on two main targets. The first option, both more affordable and more likely, is AS Monaco right-back Benjamin Henrichs. The former Bayer Leverkusen defender has struggled to settle since moving to Ligue 1. Bayern could easily purchase him for €20-30 million, and he would be a great fit for the squad.
The second name mentioned is Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo. Considering he just signed with the Citizens over the summer, the likelihood of Cancelo swapping teams yet again in the winter is quite low.
Target Number Two: Leroy Sane
After the significant injury Leroy Sane suffered earlier this season, many assumed a winter transfer to Munich was off the cards for him. At least, that was the case until just a few days ago. Reports all across Germany now claim Sane is eager to complete his swap in the January transfer window.
— Christian Falk (@cfbayern) December 18, 2019
Bayern Munich must now decide whether they want to push for his signature this winter or bide their time and wait until the summer. By signing Sane in the winter, Bayern might have to pay a heftier fee. Furthermore, there is still a chance his recovery is delayed. There is a chance he may not even be useful to the club until well into February or March.
On the other hand, waiting until the summer may not be the best idea either. Sane, for example, could change his mind and sign a new contract with City. Or his recovery could be expedited, and Bayern would miss out on months of play with a world-class forward.
If Bayern are totally intent on signing Leroy Sane in 2020 and the player is happy to make his move sooner rather than later, then the club has no reason not to pull the trigger this winter.
Sane is a world-class player, who will offer an immediate upgrade to the Bavarian flanks. He is a marked improvement over both Kingsley Coman and Ivan Perisic on the left flank. Even if the Germany international does not return until February, he would be a major boost to the club during a crucial phase of the season.
Bayern Munich might have to pay Manchester City a somewhat higher fee to secure a winter transfer for Sane. That difference would likely be minuscule, though, and well worth the extra months of play they would get from the winger.
Target Number Three: Replacements in Central Defense
Aside from a starting right-back and Leroy Sane, Bayern could potentially be in the market for a central defender. Niklas Sule will be fortunate to make another appearance for Bayern this season, while Lucas Hernandez might not come back until February.
Ultimately, however, it is Jerome Boateng who will be the biggest deciding factor in whether or not the Bavarians enter the winter transfer market for another central defender. The 31-year-old is nowhere near the world-class defender he once was. Rumors have even surfaced in Germany (via Spox) that Boateng hopes to leave Munich in January.
Should that be the case, Bayern would almost certainly have to bring in a replacement for the veteran. Even with young Lars Lukas Mai waiting for his chance to cement a spot in the first team, Boateng’s departure would necessitate Bayern sign another central defender. No names have been consistently linked with a move to Bavaria as of yet, though.
Beyond that, however, Bayern is fairly well-equipped in every area of the pitch. Virtually no space exists in the Bavarian midfield for new additions. The club may seek to shuffle a few players in the summer, but do not expect any midfield movement in January.
But that area of the pitch is the lone exception. The Bavarian defense needs bolstering, while the addition of Leroy Sane to the attack would be huge. Bayern Munich need winter transfers if they hope to remain competitive across multiple competitions for the remainder of the season.