The Haaland deal is an expensive lesson for Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich needs a strong investment in attack if they want to regain their position in the 2023/24 season.

Bayern’s failure in the 2022/23 season lies in the lack of good strikers. Photo: Reuters.

Bayern was too confident when only bringing in Sadio Mane for a fee of 32 million euros to replace Robert Lewandowski. As a result, “Gray Lobster” faced the worst season in a decade. They are in danger of being usurped by Dortmund in the race to win the Bundesliga. In the Champions League, coach Thomas Tuchel’s team was eliminated in the quarterfinals.

Bayern’s goal count this season remains among the top in Europe’s top five leagues. “Gray Lobster” scored 90 goals in the domestic league and 42 goals in the remaining arenas. However, Bayern does not possess a striker of the caliber who can create mutations at important stages.

Sadio Mane  disappointed in his first season playing in Germany. The former Liverpool star scored 7 goals in 25 appearances in the domestic league. In all competitions, the Senegalese striker has 12 goals. He is 1 goal less than the worst season in a Liverpool shirt (13 goals in the 2016/17 season).

Mane is clearly not the perfect replacement for Lewandowski. In the last 7 consecutive years, the Polish striker has scored at least 40 goals per season in all competitions. Except for Mane, none of the strikers Serge Gnabry, Eric Choupo-Moting or Thomas Muller comes close to Lewandowski’s level.

By this time, Bayern gradually understood the lack of determination when looking for a replacement for Lewandowski. Everything is easy with “Gray Lobster” when they meet weaker teams. But when it comes to needing a fulcrum to create a breakthrough in attack if it meets the big boys in the Champions League, Bayern can’t rely on anyone.

Erling Haaland  was once considered the perfect successor to Lewandowski. But Markus Babbel, a former Bayern defender, calculates that the old team must spend 500-600 million euros for all costs, including salary, contract release clause, agent fee…, for Haaland’s signature. Bayern do not want to pay this huge fee. Buying Haaland easily breaks the salary structure of a team that prioritizes stability in the dressing room like Bayern.

The change of transfer target from Haaland to Mane became a step backwards for Bayern. Then “Gray Lobster” had to pay the price for his decision. It was Haaland who scored and helped Man City knock Bayern out of the Champions League this season. The number one candidate for the European Golden Shoe title is also difficult to escape from the striker born in 2000.

While Haaland has built a solid future at Man City and is on his way to becoming the number one striker in the world,  Mane is about to leave Bayern after just one season.

Mane made no difference at Bayern. Photo: Reuters.

Bayern must be bold

“Gray Lobster” must quickly recognize the mistake and fix it this summer. Recruiting a good striker is Bayern’s priority to help the team quickly regain its position in Europe. However, this is not an easy task.

Harry Kane, Randal Kolo Muani or Victor Osimhen are strikers in the sights of Bayern. “Gray Lobster” encounters fierce competition with other big players like MU, Chelsea or PSG. These are players who cost no less than 80 million euros. Particularly, Osimhen was shouted at by Napoli for 150 million euros.

It is not easy for Bayern to find a “Lewandowski 2.0”, the striker joined the team on a free form and became a solid professional fulcrum for many years. “Gray Lobster” was forced to spend years after saving money to buy a striker.

Bayern’s most expensive contract for an attacking player came three years ago (Leroy Sane – 49 million euros). But this is not the type of player who can decide the match with a superstar moment. In recent years, “Gray Lobster” has put money to strengthen the bottom line. Lucas Hernandez and Matthijs de Ligt are the most expensive signings in Bayern history (80 and 67 million euros).

It is time for Bayern to seriously invest in the attack to fill the gap left by Lewandowski. They are not allowed to repeat mistakes like the Haaland deal.

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