Stick or twist? Which Bayern stars should be worried about their place?

With Bayern Munich’s season in real danger of ending without a trophy, attention is beginning to turn to the squad with speculation that a few of the current stars could be on the way out next season as Thomas Tuchel gets the chance to mould the team his way. Some will feel individuals are being made into scapegoats while others will blame under-performance on any potential exit. So which players are under threat from a possible overhaul at the Rekordmeister?

Sadio Mané

Since arriving in the summer from Liverpool Mané has cast a largely disappointing figure at Bayern and has not been able to recreate his Liverpool form in Bavaria. If his numerous offside goals had been valid, the story would be different, but nobody would call this season a success for the Senegalese forward.

He missed the World Cup through injury and his standing amongst the Bayern squad took an additional nosedive following his fight with Leroy Sané, which saw him suspended and fined by the club. It is unlikely Bayern will get back the full €32 million they paid, but cutting their losses and getting €20+ million could be a pill worth swallowing.

He was never going to be a direct replacement for the departed Robert Lewandowski, but the Bayern bosses had surely hoped for better that what has been delivered. A possible swap plus cash deal has been speculated with Napoli involving Victor Osimhen, but this option seems unlikely.

Serge Gnabry

Gnabry, perhaps like no other, divides opinion amongst Bayern fans. He seems to be the fall guy for many who criticise his attitude and his weight (and the fact that he is not Franck Ribéry), whilst others can see his contribution and value his abilities.

This season he has constantly been behind Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sané in the pecking order when it comes to the winger position and has often been played as the number nine in the absence of Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting.

He still has nine goals and six assists this season, which can’t be sniffed at, but with Bayern set to buy a new striker in the summer, his chances may be limited to the wide areas next season. He’s now had five seasons at the Allianz Arena and looks to be one player under consideration to move on.

Mathys Tel

18-year-old French striker Tel undoubtedly has huge potential as he has shown in the limited opportunities he’s had this season. He became Bayern’s youngest-ever Bundesliga scorer and has shown he has the ability to succeed.

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The question the Bayern bosses (and Thomas Tuchel) need to ask is whether his development would be hindered by another season as a mere back-up with Bayern set to sign a big-name striker in the summer. Would it not be better for the player’s professional development to get regular starts somewhere on loan so that Bayern can profit in the future?

Thomas Tuchel may prefer to be bolder than Julian Nagelsmann and play Tel more often, but with Choupo-Moting likely to be the number one second-choice striker, this seems unlikely.

Ryan Gravenberch

The Dutch midfielder has made no secret of his frustration this season at his lack of playing time and is said to be seriously considering his future at the club if this situation doesn’t change. There will be plenty of clubs tracking his situation with Liverpool already heavily linked with him.

There was a very good reason Bayern signed the 20-year-old from Ajax for €18.5 million, but he just hasn’t been given a fair crack of the whip to impress. Much will depend on Thomas Tuchel’s opinion of him and any changes in formation that the new Bayern coach may make for next season.

Bayern fans haven’t seen the best of Ryan Gravenberch and it would be a crying shame if he departed the club without having had the chance to showcase his talents.

Benjamin Pavard

Pavard’s case is a tricky one. He has been one of Bayern’s more consistent performers this season and has chipped in with four goals, but he hasn’t yet committed to starting talks about extending his contract which runs out in 2024. The club want him to stay, but with his agents fully aware of the interest there will be in him, a poker game could ensue.

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With Dayot Upamecano and Mathijs de Ligt settled as the central defensive unit, Pavard has had to settle for the right-back role, even though he has previously said he prefers playing in the centre. The return of Lucas Hernandez is only going to reduce his chances of playing there.

On paper keeping Pavard is a no-brainer, but the feeling is the French World Cup winner could easily have his head turned by an attractive offer from Spain or England.

Joao Cancelo

It seems unlikely that Cancelo’s loan move from Manchester City will be made permanent even though Bayern do have an option to buy clause. The club would need to stump up €60 million to sign him permanently, which seems a lot when they have priorities elsewhere.

However, if Bayern know Benjamin Pavard is not going to commit, then Cancelo would be considered as an option. Attitude problems might be another stumbling block to any permanent deal with well documented issues known by Tuchel and those in charge. He is however a highly talented fullback/ wingback who would fir Tuchel’s preferred formation perfectly.

Yann Sommer

Yes Sommer has made a few errors since joining from Borussia Mönchengladbach as cover for the injured Manuel Neuer, but he has been unduly made the scapegoat by some for Bayern’s current plight. Bayern have bigger issues than Sommer to sort out, but it seems highly likely that the Swiss keeper will move on at the end of the season.

He isn’t going to be happy (or prepared) to sit on the Bayern bench as back-up to the returning Manuel Neuer, especially with the Euros in 2024 and his number one spot in the national team under threat from Gregor Kobel and Jonas Omlin.

Noussair Mazraoui

The Moroccan fullback seems to have become the forgotten man at Bayern since the World Cup, and like his former Ajax teammate Ryan Gravenberch, he is not happy with his status in the squad and lack of playing time across the season.

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Bayern signed the 25-year-old on a free transfer so wouldn’t be losing financially if he were to be sold, but they would be losing out on talented player more than capable of making the right-back slot his own given the chance to impress. With a current market value of €28 million Bayern could use the money to fund a big move for a big-money striker.

Marcel Sabitzer

Despite impressing at the end of last season and the beginning of the current one, Austrian Sabitzer was deemed surplus to requirements and loaned out to Manchester United. He has impressed at Old Trafford and both clubs it seems would be keen on making the move permanent.

Should the English club decide against the move, Bayern would in all likelihood look for another taker for Sabitzer, whose time at Bayern looks to be over.

Daley Blind

He came, he trained, he made one start (an awful display in the loss to Gladbach), came on a few times and then left. That will be the career summary for the Dutchman’s time at Bayern. Granted he was only signed as cover and Bayern took no financial risk on the 33-year-old, but it’s back to the Eredivisie he goes.

Bouna Sarr

Yes Bouna Sarr is still on the Bayern payroll and still cashing his cheque at the end of the month for purely training and sitting on the Bayern bench once in a while. The Senegalese defender earns €1.9 million per season and his contract runs to 2024.

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He’s not made a single appearance this season and only 13 Bundesliga appearances since joining from Marseille in 2020. Nice work if you can get it!

About Mathew Burt 923 Articles
Former writer at and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball

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