By 90Min
May 21, 2019

Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga for the seventh consecutive season last week. However, after winning the title at a canter for the last several years the Bavarian side faced a title challenge from Borussia Dortmund. Bayern were actually behind Dortmund for large parts of the season but managed to overhaul Der BVB in the second half of the campaign when Lucien Favre's side seemed to buckle under the pressure of the title fight.

The title race went down to the last day of the season where Bayern overcame a brief scare to beat Eintracht Frankfurt and retain the Bundesliga title.

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Die Bayern did suffer a disappointing exit in the Champions League at the quarter-final stage to Liverpool. After gaining a creditable 0-0 draw at Anfield in the first leg, Bayern delivered a tepid performance in front of their own fans at the Allianz Arena, losing 3-1 and exiting the Champions League with a whimper.

There has been an over-reliance on older players at the club in recent years and this almost cost the Bavarian side in the league this season. Despite this, Bayern will be pleased that they managed to fend off Dortmund's Bundesliga title challenge even during a season in which they have been in transition and have attempted to integrate younger players into the team. 


We look at Bayern's squad and decide whether or not they their merit inclusion in the next campaign.


Goalkeepers

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Manuel Neuer - KEEP -  After missing most of the 2017/18 season with a series of foot injuries, Neuer endured a disappointing return to the starting XI this campaign. He established himself as the best goalkeeper in the world before his injury but seems to have diminished both physically and technically since, making series of uncharacteristic errors. However, at 33 he is still in his prime years for a goalkeeper and should remain number one at the club.

Sven Ulreich - KEEP - The 30-year-old deputised ably for Neuer while the Germany number one was injured. Ulreich did come for criticism at times for lacking Neuer's commanding presence but has enough experience and quality to remain as the back-up goalkeeper at the club.

Christian Früchtl - KEEP - Widely considered to be Neuer's long-term replacement, the 18-year-old should be given an opportunity to compete for role of first-choice goalkeeper at the club next season. Possessing composure and quality that belies his tender age, it would not be a surprise if he be became a starter sooner rather than later.


Full Backs

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Joshua Kimmich - STAY - After starting his career as a central midfielder, the 24-year-old was converted to a full-back by previous manager Pep Guardiola. Kimmich has adapted brilliantly to this role and has now cemented his position as the first choice right-back at the club. He may face competition from the incoming Benjamin Pavard next season but will undoubtedly remain with Die Bayern.


Rafinha - RELEASE - The club has already announced that Rafinha will be leaving Bayern this summer after spending eight years at the club. The versatile Brazil has not let Bayern down when called upon and the club will miss his experience and know-how when he departs. However, he is 33 and having had very few opportunities to start this season, it is the right time for both the player and the club to part ways.

David Alaba - STAY - Alaba is considered to be among the best full backs in the world and despite not hitting the heights of previous seasons in the current campaign, he remains an integral part of this Bayern side. He is the only recognised left-back at the club and Bayern have signed Atletico Madrid's Lucas Hernández to provide competition for the Austrian next season.


Central Defenders 

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Mats Hummels - STAY - It has been a difficult season for the former Borussia Dortmund defender. He was jettisoned by Joachim Löw from the Germany national team and was part of a Bayern backline that looked unconvincing throughout the 2018/19 campaign. After spending several years as one of the best centre backs in Europe, Hummels showed signs of decline this season but still remains a top quality central defender and should be in Niko Kovac's plans next season.


Niklas Süle - STAY - The 23-year-old has overtaken Jerome Boateng in the pecking order for both club and country this season. Süle has shown this season that he has the quality to be the foundation of this Bayern defence for many years to come. He possesses the perfect blend of great physicality and technical ability that all managers would want in a defender and he will look to make further progress next season.

Jerome Boateng - STAY - Considering his age, injury problems and decline in form recently, it would be tempting for Bayern to sell Boateng. However, the World Cup winner still has a great deal to offer the club. He could prove to be a great mentor for the young players coming through and his leadership skills will be invaluable for Niko Kovac next season following the departures of several experienced players this year. No longer the player he once was but still provides an excellent back-up option.


Central Midfielders

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Thiago Alcântara - STAY - The technically gifted Spain international has been one of Bayern's best performers this season. He has improved his defensive attributes considerably and is now considered amongst the best central midfielders in Europe. He made 30 appearances in the Bundesliga this season - the most he has made in a single campaign in his Bayern career. He will be an important player in this Bayern side going forward and it is vital that FC Hollywood build around him next season.

Javi Martínez - STAY - Capable of playing in defence in addition to his usual defensive midfield position, the 30-year-old provides a calming influence in this Bayern team. Martínez is adept at breaking up play as well as shielding the defence and will be an important member of the team next season. 

Corentin Tolisso - STAY - It has been a frustrating campaign for the 24-year-old as he sustained a ruptured cruciate ligament in March that kept him out for the rest of the campaign. When he has played, Tolisso provided great energy, work-rate and mobility, qualities which many of his fellow central midfielders at the club do not possess. May take time to get back up to speed following his injury but should remain with the team next season nonetheless.

Renato Sanches - LOAN - It hasn't worked out for Sanches following his move to Bayern from Benfica in 2016. During his time in Munich he has failed to replicate the performances that earned him the Young Player of the Tournament Award at Euro 2016. If Bayern were to sell the Portuguese midfielder they would struggle to recoup the fee that they paid for him. Still only 21, it would be best if Sanches was to have a loan spell where he would get regularly playing time, preferably at another Bundesliga club.


Attacking Midfielders & Wingers

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Arjen Robben - RELEASE - The club has announced that Robben will be leaving Bayern this summer after a distinguished decade at the club in which he scored 144 goals in 308 appearances; most notably scoring the winning goal in the 2013 Champions League final. Robben spent the prime years of his career at Bayern where his performances have led him to being considered one of the best players in the world. The Bundesliga champions will miss the sight of Robben cutting onto his left foot from the right flank and causing havoc for the opposition but the time is right for the Dutchman to move on. The 35-year-old has suffered recurring injury problems in recent years and leaving as a Bundesliga winner is the perfect way to end his time at Bayern.

Franck Ribéry - RELEASE - After spending many years destroying oppositions defenders in tandem with Robben it is fitting that the pair depart at the same time. Ribéry helped Bayern not only dominate domestically but succeed in Europe during his time at the club, and his individual performances garnered him the UEFA Best Player in Europe award in 2013. He also suffered injury problems in recent years but will still be missed tremendously by the club and will be remembered as one of the all-time greats.

Kingsley Coman - STAY - Coman has spent most of his Bayern career in the shadow of Ribéry and Robben but the onus will be on him next season to elevate his game to a higher level following the departures of the experienced pair. The 22-year-old has not shown the consistency required of a top player yet but undoubtedly has the potential to be world class. He will expect to start most games next season.

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Serge Gnabry - STAY - With 13 goals and six assists Gnabry has been one of Bayern's standout performers of the season. The former Arsenal man has also become a fixture in the Germany national team, impressing with his his pace, trickery and crossing ability. Just like Coman, he will be expected to carry the burden that has been left by Ribéry and Robben and should be one of Bayern's key players going forward.

Alphonso Davies - LOAN - The prodigiously talented 18-year-old joined Bayern from MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps in January 2019. He has made six substitute appearances and has also played for Bayern's second team. Davies is incredibly talented but lacking in experience at the highest level and would benefit from a loan move to a club playing in a top European league in order to help him flourish at Bayern in the future.

Jeong Woo-yeong- LOAN - Another talented youngster who would improve greatly with regularly playing time on loan at another club.

Leon Goretzka - STAY - Goretzka has had a solid debut season with Die Bayern, scoring nine goals and providing four assists in all competitions. He has been rotated with Thomas Muller and James Rodríguez but he would expect to be Bayern's first choice number 10 moving forward.

Thomas Muller - STAY - The past year has been a fall from grace for the man who was  once considered to be Bayern's talisman. Muller had an abysmal World Cup and was then one of the players that was told by manager by Joachim Löw that they were no longer considered for selection for the national team. Despite this, he remains a key player for this Bayern side and will be integral to the team next season.

James Rodríguez - RELEASE - The Colombian playmaker has been on-loan at Bayern from Real Madrid for the last two seasons. He has played well on occasions but has struggled with inconsistency throughout. His loan deal ends this season and with Muller and Goretzka already filling the number 10 position, Bayern do not need a third option, especially considering the high wages that he is on.


Forwards

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Robert Lewandowski - STAY - Bayern's talisman and top goalscorer, it is vital that the Bavarian side keep the Polish striker at the club next season. There have been flirtations with Real Madrid and Bayern must do their best to ward off potential advances from Los Blancos.  Lewandowski has a frankly ridiculous goal-scoring record at Bayern - with 189 goals in 241 appearances. He has carried the goalscoring burden at the club for years but will have support in the striking position next season from new signing Jann-Fiete Arp.



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