After 13 seasons and 500 matches with Bayern Munich, Bastian Schweinsteiger has finally made his Bundesliga exit to make his way to Manchester United. The German midfielder traded one red kit in for another on his 18 million euro move to the Red Devils. Bayern, who were already far from short on midfield players, wasted no time in signing a new player, former Juventus star Arturo Vidal. Although not a direct replacement, it is very likely that the Chilean will prove to be a great signing for FCB.
Bayern have recently been dominating the Bundesliga, winning a third straight domestic title with quite a few weeks to spare last season. Their domestic success has generally been paired with strong European performances, but after a relatively injury-ridden string of months the German side exited the Champions League in the semifinals to eventual champions Barcelona. Bastian did not have a solidified starting place on the Bavarian side last season and as a result the 31-year-old decided it might be time for him to move on.
The decision was made to bring in 28-year-old Chilean born midfielder Arturo Vidal. Vidal is a versatile midfielder who most often plays in a box to box role, but spent more than a few minutes last season playing behind the strikers, and has even filled the role of centre back when necessary. Vidal apparently asked to leave Juventus in search of a new experience according to Juventus director Beppe Marotta. Along with helping lead Juventus to four straight domestic titles, Arturo was instrumental in the Turin side’s European success, making it to the finals of the Champions League. Additionally, Vidal lead his Chilean side to their first ever Copa America title.
Vidal plays with unparalleled aggression and tenacity, a quality that is both an asset and a liability. He is one of the best players in the world in transitioning from a defensive to an attacking role, and refuses to quit when tracking back to get the ball. However, he commits to tackles and spends a large amount of time sitting on a yellow card, and received 26 yellows domestically, but somewhat surprisingly 0 reds over the last 3 seasons in Serie A with the Bianconeri. Defensively, he averaged just over 4 tackles per game during his time in Italy. On the other end of the pitch, he scored 35 goals in all competitions for Juventus. Comparatively, Schweinsteiger scored 45 goals in all of his 13 seasons in Munich.
Vidal was signed for a remarkably low fee of 37 million euros, bringing the net transfer of the two stars to be 19 million euros, a fee similar to that paid by Newcastle United for Aleksander Mitrovic. It is clear that if Vidal continues to perform at the same level he performed at for Juventus, he would easily be worth the amount of money paid for him. The question then becomes where will Vidal fit into Bayern.
With Alonso, Thiago, Lahm and Martinez already in the midfield, Vidal will have plenty of company at Bayern. However, Alonso and Lahm are both aging and Thiago and Martinez have both struggled with injuries. For this reason, it is likely that Arturo will have many chances to earn a starting position for FCB. Additionally, as mentioned above, his versatility makes him a great fit for Pep’s Bayern. His tendency to press heavily fits well into Guardiola’s style of football, and similar to David Alaba, Vidal can be played virtually anywhere on the pitch. Bayern under Guardiola have had somewhat of a dynamic lineup with players like Lahm and Alaba playing both in midfield and defense depending on the nature of the match. Because of the flexibility and the depth in Bayern’s midfield, the exchange of the aging specialized Schweinsteiger for the multifaceted Vidal was undoubtedly a smart decision.
If all goes according to general expectations, Manchester United will fare well with their signing of Schweinsteiger, and Bayern Munich will succeed with their signing of Arturo Vidal. It appears as though both teams have made good decisions, and the only team who isn’t making out of these transfers for the better is Juventus. Although the Turin side picked up Sami Khedira for free earlier this window, losing Vidal, as well as Tevez and Pirlo, means that Juventus has quite the different season ahead of them. When it comes down to it, its pretty hard to argue that Bayern Munich has made another great piece of business, and will likely continue their success this upcoming season.[separator type=”thin”]
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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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