“My Bayern” is the name of the column by SPORT BILD reporter legend Raimund Hinko, which deals with the German record champions. Hinko has been with Munich for decades.
Dear Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidzic,
You are ultimately no different than coach Julian Nagelsmann. If things go well, you’ll be highly praised as a sports director, you’ve put together the squad really well. When things go badly, criticism rains down. The squad isn’t that strong after all. To put it more critically: Completely overestimated. Or really crass: just damn.
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Now let’s assume that the truth doesn’t lie somewhere in the middle, but that it really is one of the best squads in Europe or in the world. Compliments not only to Nagelsmann, but also to you. Not only for the two victories over Paris St. Germain. Victories that give hope for the really big hit, for the triple.
If you take a closer look at the squad, everything is almost always good when every position is doubled. And if the players can be used in several positions. But it’s an unbelievable luxury that Bayern now suddenly has an abundance of the right-back position, the position that has been in dire need for years. No matter whether in the defensive variant or in the variant of the sideline up and down sweeper. Almost all of Europe could now use Bayern if you, dear Brazzo, gave up one of your pearls for the right flank. Even Paris St. Germain would be rebuffed if they wooed a Frenchman with 100 million.
That’s right, because Benjamin Pavard (26) stands above everyone, whose contract expires in 2024, but who, after phases of depression and thoughts of emigration, suddenly and surprisingly felt at home in Munich. Pavard plays, to put it in Pep Guardiola’s language, super super super. In the dressing room, the players rumor that a woman from Munich must have touched Benjamin’s heart. That smells like a contract extension. Not only after his two goals against Augsburg, which he celebrated completely detached.
Guardiola of course also noticed at ManCity that Joao Cancelo (28), his loaned right-back with an enormous offensive drive, played well in the 5-3 win over Augsburg (including a solo to make it 1-0). It is uncertain whether Bayern will buy him for the fixed fee of 70 million euros. Either way, the Portuguese belongs in the world class department. Above all, his crosses, which often rush uncontrolled into the penalty area at Bayern, come with millimeter precision.
Nagelsmann used the word world class when he spoke of Josip Stanisic (22). It doesn’t matter how you think about the “long-legged” (=long-legged), nerve-racking Croatian – it will always be said about him that he knocked out the world’s best striker, Kylian Mbappé, in Munich. Nobody can take that away from him. Stanisic is currently the only near-regular to come from his own boarding school, excluding Jamal Musiala who, after eight years of training at Chelsea, successfully hid in the U17s for a year and was not found ready for the U19s until he brought Hansi Flick to the pros. Like Musiala, Stanisic is under contract until 2026. Its market value could jump from the current 8 to 80 million. And it is not a disadvantage for him that he is looked after by the agency of Dieter Hoeneß, the goalscorer from the eighties who, compared to Harry Kane (please Brazzo, never buy), was a Rastelli on the ball.
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And then Noussair Mazraoui (25), the Moroccan from Ajax Amsterdam, also under contract until 2026, suddenly reappeared against Stuttgart after 78 minutes. No other right-back plays as light-footed, elegant and weightless as he does. And so, surprisingly, Bayern now has four candidates for one position. With Bouna Sarr (31), there was even a fifth on the bench recently, even if the contract until 2024 can go if an interested party is found. The Senegalese is not that bad, just not Bavarian-like.
That sounds comforting, especially for the 6er Joshua Kimmich. At the moment, nobody would think that he too could help out as a right-back in an emergency, so he would have to give up his beloved, responsible role as a conductor.
Yes, dear Brazzo, you probably overdid it in the right-back position. That’s not an accusation. It turned out that way. Nevertheless, one may be curious as to how Nagelsmann solves this tricky puzzle. So who’s in the lead now? That will also decide whether Bayern are still ahead on Sunday after the game in Leverkusen.