Nothing should really come as a surprise in football nowadays, but the news that Lucas Hernandez is angling for a move away from Bayern this summer came as quite the shock. Although the circumstances will hurt the club after all they have done for him, getting rid of a player who clearly doesn’t identify with the cause is the best course of action.
When Bayern paid a club record fee at the time of €80 million and broke their own wage structure to bring him in from Atletico Madrid, the intention was for him to become the cornerstone of the defence for years to come. The fact that injuries have blighted his time at the club is a part of football, but it must now be admitted that Bayern got it wrong when considering the player’s character and got it wrong when handing out ‘silly wages’.
The wages paid to the Frenchman ultimately led to other arrivals demanding similar figures and when David Alaba asked to be renumerated in the same fashion (after all he did contribute way more), Bayern wouldn’t budge and they lost their Leistungsträger to Real Madrid.
Bayern have stood by Hernandez throughout his long battle with injuries and also backed him when he stood accused of assaulting his girlfriend. Now the player has shown his mercenary side by indicating that he wants to move to Paris St. Germain. The 27-year-old is currently under contract until 2024 and has stated he will not renew. Bayern will in all likelihood demand a fee of €60 million for the defender.
Yes, he will be a loss and one that will need a costly replacement, but with Thomas Tuchel and the club trying to create a tighter group and a return to the ‘Bayern way’, players like Hernandez are not what they need.
On the plus side Bayern have options that they could potentially bring in even if their stated priority is a new striker and a defensive midfielder. Napoli’s Kim Min-jae and Villarreal’s Pau Torres are both reportedly being considered, although Josko Gvardiol is considered too expensive and destined for the Premier League.
Of course players are fully justified in taking their labour where they want when their contracts expire, but having taken Bayern’s money for three years without really contributing too much, while at the same time being given the club’s full support, reeks somewhat of a relationship that is one-sided and not the healthiest for the party giving the love.
Au revoir Monsieur Hernandez. ‘Mia San Mia’, but you were clearly ‘one of us’.