In late October, Hasan Salihamidžić confirmed that Bayern were looking for a striker to sign in January to relieve pressure on Robert Lewandowski. We look at some potentials they could go after.
The news came after a slight injury to Robert Lewandowski, who bemoaned the workload he had over the last few years. According to reports, Bayern had already spoken to previous manager Carlo Ancelotti about signing an understudy to Lewandowski. Ancelotti had indicated that Thomas Müller was already a good fit for that role and there was no need for another striker.
Jupp Heynckes will not want to use Thomas Müller as his back up option as he prefers a more out and out number nine. During his treble winning season, Jupp had three strikers at his disposal, namely Mario Gomez, Mario Mandžukić and veteran Claudio Pizarro.
Qualities of the ideal understudy
Ideally, Bayern should look for a player that is younger than Robert Lewandowski to potentially take over when the Pole decides to bring his career at Bayern to an end. The striker must have some world-class potential since Bayern will want nothing but a strong player at the helm in Lewandowski’s absence.
With Bayern’s system, the striker would also be required to hold onto the ball well, have some aerial ability and be adept with leading the line as a lone frontman. The striker should also have the ability to roam into different attacking positions with good technique on the ball.
Additionally, the striker would also need to be able to cope with being on the bench for a couple of years and respond well whenever called upon. The player must also be within Bayern’s price range as the club may not want to spend a lot of money.
Mariano Diaz came from Real Madrid’s youth team before making a breakthrough to the first team, scoring five goals and having two assist in mostly substitute appearances for the club. Last summer, Diaz moved to Lyon. He rampaged in Ligue 1, scoring nine goals in only 12 games for Les Gones.
He is six feet tall and excels at dribbling, with has a powerful right foot and clinical finishing. Mariano is also very good in the air, winning 52% of his aerial duels. He can play on the wings, which will enable him to roam into different positions. Mariano’s price tag will not be high, as his transfer to Lyon only cost the club 8 million euros last summer.
Timo Werner has been prolific over the last two seasons for RB Leipzig, scoring 29 goals with 10 assist over 49 games for his club. His heroics earned him a call-up for Die Mannschaft’s recent Confederations Cup victory, where he finished top scorer in the competition.
Timo Werner is an extremely pacy striker with good aerial ability. His pace earned him the nickname “Turbo Timo”. This would make him a treat from wing positions and deadly on counterattacks, which is what Jupp Heynckes wants from his striker. Werner might be on the expensive side for a transfer, especially to a direct rival, but he has the potential to be a world-class striker. It could be a very wise investment at the age of only 21.
Anthony Martial made an impressive start to life at Manchester United under former Bayern Manager Louis van Gaal. He was named player of the season for the club.
Sadly, when José Mourinho took over, his minutes dwindled and he spends time on the bench. This new role hasn’t affected his goal scoring output. He managed four goals and two assist in 10 matches in the Premier League where seven of those have been substitute appearances.
Martial excels in finishing and is a very good dribbler, often being played as a winger. This positional versatility would help him get games due to Bayern’s injury record. As a bench player, he may not command an enormous fee and also has potential and time on his side.
The Dane is one of the most exciting prospects across Europe and he had a sensational start at Ajax last season. Kasper Dolberg has netted 22 goals and seven assists in all competition for Ajax, leading them to a Europa League final and second place finish in the Eredivisie.
Kasper Dolberg excels at finishing and dribbling. With a 6’1” frame, he has very good aerial presence. In the new season, he scored just two goals in 10 appearances. This could play into Bayern’s hands since he may not command as high a fee as he may have last summer. The quality is there and at just 20, he can be molded into a world-class player.
Mousa Dembélé had a great start at Celtic, scoring 38 goals with 12 assist in 61 appearances. He has great finishing, dribbling and pace. He is also good in the air, winning 44% of his duels.
The transfer would be riskier because of the lower standards in the Scottish league. However, he is highly rated by many teams. Players from the Scottish league also have not been known to fetch major transfer amounts and it could be a good move to get him now before he joins a bigger club.