As a once dominant Bayern Munich squad ages, it has become clear that change is on the way. Set to bring in several new players, the club is preparing for a big summer. With a pivotal off-season ahead, the backup striker role is one of many positions Bayern will look to fill. The club has been linked with RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner for some time, with the team likely to make a move for the German this summer.
A key player for Leipzig, Werner has played a big role in the clubs recent success. Since joining the club in 2016, the 23-year-old has scored 56 goals, making him one of the most sought after forwards in Europe. Now Germany’s primary goalscoring option, Werner has been linked with several big clubs, including Liverpool and PSG. Under contract until the summer of 2020, the German will likely be sold at a cut-price, making him an attractive option. Available for around €35-40 million, Bayern’s interest is understandable. However, the club would do well to look elsewhere.
Known for using his speed on the counter, Werner is a nightmare to defend in the right system. Thriving in Leipzig’s 4-2-2-2 formation, he uses his pace alongside the taller Yussuf Poulsen to great effect. His style of play would make him a quality option on Merseyside or in Paris, but not Bavaria. Typically playing slower and with a target man up front, Bayern should be looking for a stronger, more physical option.
As for alternatives, Bayern won’t have to look far. Serbian striker Luka Jović has starred for Eintracht Frankfurt this season, scoring 22 goals in all competitions. A balanced forward, Jović has no standout weaknesses, making him difficult to defend. On loan from SL Benfica, Frankfurt will trigger a €7m buy option for the prolific 21-year-old. The club is willing to sell the impressive Serb in the summer, should a good enough bid come in. Jović should be Bayern’s number one option. Strong, mobile and deadly in front of goal, Frankfurt’s rising star would be a potential successor to Robert Lewandowski in Munich.
The striker everyone wants, Jović is in demand. Linked with Barcelona and Real Madrid, Bayern Munich is sure to face competition for the talented Serb. This makes yet another Frankfurt star an alternative to Leipzig’s Timo Werner. Sébastien Haller has played a key role for Frankfurt this season, scoring 19 goals in all competitions. Contributing 12 assists along the way, Haller has improved dramatically under manager Adi Hütter. The clubs record signing, the 24-year-old can do it all. Physically dominant, the Frenchman links up well, leading to smooth buildup, playing alongside Jović. A skilful target man, Haller could play the Lewandowski role with ease, making him a more sensible option for Bayern.
Now 30-years-old, Bayern is preparing the day when Lewandowski isn’t leading the line for the club. Signing a player like Werner wouldn’t be the end of the world, but if the team wants a seamless transition in the coming years, Jović and Haller would be smart, sensible options, if you take the teams style of play into consideration. Bayern can’t afford to get this one wrong. Lewandowski is extremely valuable, making him difficult to replace. This makes the summer even more important, as the club makes preparations for the future.
According to reports, Bayern is set to make Lucas Hernandez their second big-name signing of the summer. The French World Cup winner will join fellow world champion Benjamin Pavard in Munich next season. Two key signings, many more are expected before the start of next season. Preparing to spend big this off-season, Bayern will look to replace several big-name players. The likes of Jerome Boateng, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben will all move on, as the team looks to get younger. Attempting to sign Lewandowski’s potential successor, the club must make the right decision. Pivotal to the team’s success, a reliable goal-scoring option will become Lewandowski’s backup, before eventually becoming the main man in Munich.
The club’s board are reportedly sold on Werner being the right choice and number one option this summer. Whereas manager Niko Kovač reportedly prefers Jović. Facing an uncertain future at the club, it’s unlikely Kovač gets his way. All three options will be expensive and all three players can help the team. However, Werner presents the club with an uncomfortable problem. The German forward will need to change and adapt to suit the team, something no player needs on top of the pressure of performing in Munich. Signing Jović or Haller will be risky, but if the club is willing to take a punt on Werner, they should be willing to look at other options as well.
By James Jukes.