August 5, 2022, 6:58 AM
August 5, 2022, 6:58 AM
Bayern Munich have their eleventh consecutive Bundesliga title in hand, and if another German club wants to be champions they will have to take it from them. At least that is what a good part of the football world in Germany thinks, in which the multi-champion’s transfer policy is almost unanimously celebrated after the stormy departure of Robert Lewandowski.
Although the seven consecutive scoring titles, the 312 goals in 384 Bundesliga games, and the record of 41 goals achieved in a season by Lewandowski seem destined to appear in the annals of German football for decades to come, what is today in the German media is to present Bayern as a team strengthened by the arrival of Sadio Mané, Matthijs de Ligt, Ryan Gravenberch, Noussair Mazraoui and the very young Frenchman Mathys Tel.
Borussia Dortmund: sensations and calamities
But what about Bayern’s supposed rivals in the title race? Borussia Dortmund started what looked like a forceful battle call early with the signings of Niklas Süle, Nico Schlotterbeck and Karim Adeyemi. As if that were not enough, the bees struck another, much more discreet blow with the addition of Salih Özcan, a strong midfielder from Cologne. The icing on the cake seemed to be the arrival of Sebastien Haller, a striker coveted by top European clubs.
However, recent weeks have greatly mitigated the effect of such moves. Süle will not start the tournament due to injury, Adeyemi has been far from conclusive, and Haller presented a testicular tumor that will keep him away from the courts for several weeks. The history of the previous tournament seems to be repeating itself, when Dortmund was a real hospital due to the numerous casualties.
RB Leipzig: Raum and little else
RB Leipzig, pursuers of Bayern two years ago, failed to maintain the same pace last season, in which they finished fourth. His most spectacular signing was that of David Raum, who can contribute a lot. He also managed to keep Frenchman Christopher Nkunku, his main offensive engine.
But otherwise, the squad suffered sensitive casualties: the American Tyler Adams emigrated to the Premier League, as did the speedy South Korean Hee-Chan Hwang. He also lost one more defender: Nordi Mukiele, who will reinforce PSG. Dutchman Brian Brobbey, who failed to prevail in Leipzig, has returned to his country and will play for Ajax. The club could still lose another of its pillars, if Konrad Laimer goes to Bayern, as is insistently rumoured.
The club’s shortcomings were clearly seen in the first half of the German Super Cup, in which Leipzig completely collapsed on the pitch. Veterans like Emil Forsberg or Kevin Kampl and promises like Dominik Szoboszlai were not enough to keep a ship afloat that capsized until Dani Olmo and André Silva entered. All in all, it became clear that if no major changes take place at RB Leipzig, the club will hardly make Bayern sweat.
Bayer Leverkusen: early headache
Bayern’s other potential rival in the fight for the title is in theory Bayer Leverkusen. Aspirin had an extremely restrictive transfer policy this summer. The big news was the retention of striker Mousa Diaby, for at least one more year, and the renewal until 2027 of striker Patrik Schick. From then on, the biggest hiring was that of the Czech Adam Hlozek, who is aiming for a replacement in the event of Schick’s absence.
With this squad, Bayer Leverkusen suffered their first major headache of the footballing year when they were embarrassingly eliminated in the German Cup by third-tier Elversberg.
Thus, although the signings of Bayern Munich still have to confirm the media euphoria in the facts prior to the 2022/2023 tournament, the fact is that their presumed rivals do not seem to guarantee for the moment the necessary perseverance to avoid The Eleventh of the Bavarians. But what will happen on the pitch may be a very different story. The movements and numbers of the transfer window that ends on September 1 are just the starting point.