Bayern Munich’s defence of their Bundesliga title has not got off to the best of starts, with the Bavarian giants having lost 2-0 to Hoffenheim at the weekend and falling to sixth in the table as a result.
Whilst we are of course just three games in, with plenty more football to be played, it can perhaps be seen as evidence of underlying problems at the Allianz Arena that could begin to surface over the months ahead – which is a real concern.
Bayern Munich return to continental action this week when they face Anderlecht in the Champions League, kick-starting what they hope will be a successful campaign in Europe’s elite competition after a number of years underperforming.
However, big changes could occur at Bayern Munich between now and the end of the season and it seems the established core in Bavaria could be dismantled; as club legend Stefan Effenberg believes his beloved side should ditch Robert Lewandowski.
Robert Lewandowski: "I still have a lot to do and still a lot to achieve, especially this season." pic.twitter.com/JybcC0HZc3
— Bayern mania (@Bayern_mania) September 8, 2017
The Polish striker was highly critical of the club’s recruitment policy recently, following another record-breaking summer, and it’s remarkable that the German giants most expensive recruit is the reported £37.25m paid for Corentin Tolisso this summer.
Whilst that can be seen as evidence of superb management in the transfer market, Lewandowski believes the club needs to be more of a threat in the market. Speaking recently, he told German outlet Spiegel:
“Bayern has to come up with something new and be creative, if the club wants to keep luring world-class players to Munich. And if you want to keep up at the very highest level, you need these players’ quality.”
Those comments made headlines and Effenberg, who won three Bundesliga titles and a Champions League with Bayern, hit back; urging the club to ditch the 29-year-old. Writing in a column for t-online.de, which has been translated by Goal, he said:
“On the one hand, he’s attacked the philosophy of the club. Uli Hoeness has already said several times that they will not spend totals by €100 million or €150m. He also attacked his colleagues, who in his opinion apparently did not have the quality to win what he wants: the Champions League.”
How the hell was this Robert Lewandowski's goal disallowed?
— Troll Football Media (@Troll__Footbal) September 4, 2017
“I said a few weeks ago that Bayern are in danger of losing touch with PSG and Barcelona if they are not willing to pay these sums. However, Lewandowski is a player – in this role, he should not express such statements publicly. In addition, the decision of Uli Hoeness is now irrefutable and the quality of the team is high despite ‘low’ expenditure.”
“After the new development centre is finally finished, I see today a huge potential in a completely different strategy: FC Bayern Germany. We have so many highly talented, potential world-class players in Germany – not 15 but 30 to 40! They have won the World Cup, the Confederations Cup and the European Under 21 Championship.”
“This is exactly the opposite of what Lewandowski demands. €100m, €150m or €200m for international superstars? For this sum you get five or six players in Germany. For Timo Werner, it would be a logical next step to switch to Bayern. I cannot imagine that he would say ‘I’m going abroad’ or ‘I’m staying with Leipzig’ if they came calling.”
Identifying Timo Werner as a potential target, Effenberg has also highlighted an ideal replacement for Lewandowski and selling could be financially beneficial to the Bavarian side; as they’d land a large sum for the Polish striker’s services, allowing them to buy a number of players.