The winter transfer window in Germany is typically much quieter than we see in England, it lacks the rigmarole and fanfare that frequently occurs in our country. Its seen as a time to take stock and analyse exactly where your team is at come the halfway mark of the season. The general sentiment seems to be, only make additions if you really have to.
Making additions is almost an admittance that your season isn’t going to plan and there are issues with your team. Hence, the actions of Wolfsburg who acted swiftly to secure three new additions in the first week of the window, after seriously under-performing in the first half of the season.
However, one team who aren’t struggling are Bayern Munich, yet they’ve uncharacteristically made a double signing this week in the form of Hoffenheim pair Sebastian Rudy and Niklas Sule.
The overriding view from Germany is that January signings struggle to make an immediate impact, which often leads to them being branded a failure. However, the duo won’t be joining up with Bayern until the summer and they could prove to be extremely shrewd acquisitions.
Bayern have been a dominant force both in Germany and Europe for some time now, and whilst they’re by no means playing badly this season, they maybe aren’t performing at the levels they were under Pep Guardiola. One criticism is that the team needs to get younger with mainstays of the team such as Philip Lahm, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben all entering the twilight of their respective careers.
The signings of Sule and Rudy certainly help this with them being just 21 and 26 years old respectively. Despite their relative youth, both players come with an abundance of Bundesliga experience and should be able to make an instant impact for the champions.
At just 21 years of age, Sule is regarded as one of the top defensive prospects in Europe and has attracted attention from top clubs across the continent, like Chelsea and Manchester United. But it’s Bayern who have managed to secure his signature after agreeing a reported €25 million (£17.5 million) for his services.
Considering Manchester City paid nearly three times this amount for John Stones, Bayern seemed to have snagged an absolute bargain for a defender of a similar age and potential. Already a full German international and already having amassed 95 Bundesliga appearances in his short career, Sule arrives at Bayern with the requisite experience to step right in to the heart of the champion’s defence.
Some will criticize Sule for making the move to Bavaria, claiming that he won’t see much playing time with the likes of Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez already in the Bayern defence. However, Boateng and Martinez have struggled frequently with injuries and can’t be depended on for a full season.
Should Sule perform in the same way he has for Hoffenheim, when given the opportunity at his new club, he could displace the aforementioned pair on a permanent basis and become a mainstay in the heart of the Munich defence for years to come.
Standing 6ft 5” tall, Sule is a towering figure, well-built and physically imposing, Sule is almost the perfect defender from a physical standpoint. His technical ability is also clear for all to see and he can often be found starting Hoffenheim attacks from defence.
Perhaps his biggest strength, though, is his composure, maturity and temperament. He has a great disciplinary record and is typical efficient in his play. Having played as a striker in the Hoffenheim youth teams, its hardly a surprise he is as good on the ball as he is and is such a threat in attacking positions.
Whilst the signing of Sebastian Rudy is perhaps the lower profile of the two signings and may not receive as much attention as the Sule transfer, it is arguably the shrewder piece of business in the short term. Rudy will be joining Bayern on a free transfer due to the expiry of his contract, which is why his acquisition may be overshadowed by the more expensive purchase of Sule.
Like Sule, Rudy is a German international. Signing a player with that sort of pedigree on a free transfer is a remarkable piece of business by anyone’s standards. Rudy is a versatile player who plays mainly in the centre of midfield, as a box-to-box type of player, or as a holding midfielder in 4-2-3-1 formation.
Having said that he has also played many times as a right-back, and this could be where he plays for Bayern. With Philipp Lahm coming to the end of his career, Rudy could slot into his role as the starting right-back with relative ease.
Rudy is an excellent passer of the ball, completing over 77% of his passes and completing two key passes per game on average. Since his move from Stuggart nine years ago, Rudy has played 177 times for Hoffenheim so he is a proven Bundesliga talent, who knows the league inside out and should be able to be a day-one starter in Munich.
Having played 14 times for Germany and numerous times for the various German youth teams, Rudy will be familiar with many of his Bayern teammates who also represent the national team. This will only help his transition from Hoffenheim to Munich.
The transfers have been met with an air of discontent, somewhat in Germany. With the view being that Bayern are once again hoovering up all the domestic talent. But from a Bayern perspective, this only serves to increase the value of the transfers, enhancing their own squad whilst weakening those of their rivals.
Also, it can be seen as good thing that talented players such as Sule and Rudy are remaining in Germany rather than seeking out moves abroad, where there was indeed interest from other clubs.
Bayern have acted thoughtfully yet quickly to snap up the two talented Germans from under the noses of other clubs and the double deal has all the hallmarks of a typically intelligent, efficient signing from the German champions.
Something which is often lacking in this country during the January transfer window where panic buying and reckless, spending for spending’s sake is all too common. The likes of Andy Carroll, Fernando Torres and Oumar Niasse spring immediately to mind. It’s safe to say that it’s highly unlikely the signings of Sule and Rudy will be remembered alongside the likes of those three.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Suzanne1172
Done Deal: Swansea City sign Renato Sanches from Bayern Munich on season-long loan
In a summer transfer window full of crazy and unexpected moves, Swansea City may have just put the icing on top of the cake as the South Wales outfit have secured a deal for Bayern Munich’s Renato Sanches.
Paul Clement has well and truly proved the old cliché ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ and utilised his contacts from his time as the German side’s assistant coach to push a deal through.
Who is Renato Sanches?
The Portuguese midfielder originally made a name for himself coming through the Benfica youth system as child, being signed up in 2006, and since then he moved from Benfica ‘B’ to the first-team.
During his solitary season playing in Portugal he quickly became a key member of their starting eleven, featuring six times in the Champions League, and he alerted the attention of Europe’s elite.
But it was Bayern Munich who secured a lucrative deal for Sanches last summer, setting the Bundesliga side back £27.5 million, and it was thought that he would be the next big young midfielder.
It hasn’t quite worked out like that in the past 12 months though, starting just four league matches all season, and a spell in the Premier League may be what’s needed for him to rejuvenate his career.
What is the deal?
The two sides have come to an agreement – as reported on Swansea’s official website – that sees Sanches arriving on a season-long loan at the Liberty Stadium, completing the necessary paperwork yesterday.
Where will he fit in at the Liberty?
With talisman Gyfli Sigurdsson leaving in a £45 million move to Everton, there’s a distinct lack of attacking prowess in the Swansea City midfield and this is where Sanches is worth his weight in gold.
He is a stereotypical box-to-box midfielder, having excellent technical ability and skills when in possession of the ball and always loking to use his power try drive forward and influence attacks.
And alongside that boss Clement knows that he’ll bring his endless work-rate to the Swans, adding much-needed defensive steel to a somewhat limp current side with his natural tough-tackling play.
How Twitter reacted to Swansea City signing Bayern Munich’s Renato Sanches on loan
Swansea City have confirmed the arrival of Renato Sanches on a loan deal from Bayern Munich. Sky Sports report that the Swans will pay a loan fee in excess of £2 million to take the midfielder to the Liberty Stadium for a year. This is a remarkable deal by the club and underlines the contacts that manager Paul Clement has in the game.
The Swansea manager will have worked with the 20-year-old for a short period last season at the Allianz Arena before he took the job in the Premier League. He worked at Bayern Munich as the assistant to Carlo Ancelotti and the Italian has now done his close friend a favour by letting him have one of the most exciting young midfielders on loan for a season.
Bayern Munich want the midfielder to gain regular first-team football as he has now reached a key stage in his development. It was a frustrating first season in the Bundesliga for Sanches and he now gets the opportunity to test himself in another league. The Premier League will suit his physicality and energy in the middle of the park. It won’t have been in his plans to go on loan to a club like Swansea, but he will relish the opportunity to play regularly.
It is thought that Sanches was keen to move to Swansea over other clubs, due to his existing relationship with Clement. He joined Bayern Munich last summer for a fee of £28 million and that shows the standing he has in the European game. It is a huge coup for Swansea and one that will excite the supporters.
Last summer, Sanches was named the Young Player of the Tournament at Euro 2016 as he helped Portugal to win the competition. He showed a maturity beyond his years and established himself as one of the best young midfielders in the game. The last year hasn’t gone as well as he would have hoped, but he now has the opportunity to further his development in England.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the news:
— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) August 31, 2017
Reports that Renato Sanches to Swansea on loan is a done deal.
It's not what you know, it's who you know. pic.twitter.com/GtXA7gBEUg
— Coral (@Coral) August 30, 2017
Renato Sanches is on the verge of completing a loan move to Swansea! pic.twitter.com/e0LHKJXPmf
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) August 30, 2017
When you hear Renato Sanches is close to joining Swansea on loan… pic.twitter.com/5R3bQrYyjI
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) August 30, 2017
Swansea fans were understandably excited by the signing:
Now it's official I can start to celebrate Sanches signing! What a coup! Insane signing, great work by the club! Can't wait to see him play.
— Guto Llewelyn (@GutoLlewelyn) August 31, 2017
Renato Sanches signing for Swansea. https://t.co/so76vFNB32
— Bobby (@BobbyGardiner) August 31, 2017
Paul Clement at the announcement if we do sign Renato Sanches pic.twitter.com/wn0Mf11syj
— Jack Evans (@Jevski7) August 30, 2017
Supporters of other clubs were jealous of the signing:
For once I'm jealous of other clubs transfers, Jese and Renato Sanches in particular #SaintsFC
— Nat Harvey (@Nat_sfc_harvey) August 31, 2017
Paying €8.5m for a one year loan is insane but I'm still very jealous of Swansea if they get Renato Sanches
— Reubdolph Pinder?? (@MarcoReubs) August 31, 2017
God I wish West Ham were going for Renato Sanches, especially if no Carvalho deal!
— Sam Hunt ? (@SHunt_92) August 30, 2017
— Moz (@Pardiola_) August 30, 2017
Chelsea look to Bayern Munich for latest wing-back target – Is a move likely?
As Chelsea prepare for a potentially busy deadline day, German newspaper Bild suggest that one potential arrival could be Bayern Munich full-back Rafinha.
What would Rafinha bring to Stamford Bridge?
One thing that the 31-year-old can offer in abundance is experience. As a winner of the Bundesliga and Champions League with Bayern Munich, he could help the more inexperienced members of Chelsea’s squad as they return to Europe’s elite competition this season.
He also offers versatility. It is most likely that Rafinha will take up a wing-back role if he does move to Stamford Bridge, but Antonio Conte will be keen on the fact that he can play on either flank. He can also play as a central defender if required, and that could encourage Chelsea to make a move for him.
The Brazilian also shares a number of attributes with both Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses. In particular, his impressive range of passing and crossing will appeal and he is a clear threat when bombing down the flank on the attack.
Is a move likely?
Bayern are hugely reluctant to sell their man as Carlo Ancelotti feels that he is a reliable second choice right-back. With Philip Lahm having retired, he has also picked up the reigns as the experienced veteran in the Bayern defence, which carries huge importance on and off the field.
However, it’s not yet clear if the Brazilian is content with such a role. Having played just 23 minutes so far this season, he may be keen to move abroad and have a go at the Premier League as, at his age, it could be his last opportunity to do so.
Chelsea could well pursue a move for him. It’s clear that wing-back is one of their top priorities this summer as they look to add cover and competition for Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses. With only 10 months left on his contract at the Allianz Arena, they could be in a strong negotiating position.
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