by Lloyd Webb
In such a busy transfer window with major deals going through, big players leaving and arriving and record transfer fees being broken, you would be forgiven for not realising the shrewd business that has been going on at the Allianz Arena. For just under £40m, they have strengthened in a number of departments with some top ability.
It was the footballing world’s best kept secret, with everyone knowing where Robert Lewandowski was going to end up once he announced he was going to leave Borussia Dortmund on a Bosman. Now at Dortmund’s rivals Bayern Munich, the Polish striker will be the man Munich look for to finish the service that the inventive players like Gotze, Robben and Ribery create. The Bavarian giants have certainly traded up in acquiring Lewandowski and letting go of Mario Mandzukic and have even raised some funds in doing so.
The most expensive of Bayern Munich’s transfers was Mehdi Benatia from Roma. At a fee believed to be around £27m, the Munich based club have done very well to acquire such a sought after central defender. Impressing in Serie A for sometime now with his reading of the game and his tough tackling, Benatia will add some much needed solidity in the centre of defence with Jerome Boateng and Dante sometimes vulnerable.
Not the only defender to arrive from abroad, Benatia is also joined by Valencia left back Juan Bernat for a fee of around £8m. A young talent, Bernat is so often compared to a former Valencia left back Jordi Alba due to his calmness on and off the ball on the pitch despite being just 21 and can even double up as a left winger.
One of the bargains of the summer window, the experienced Xabi Alonso arrives for a fee believed to be £8m from Real Madrid. With Javi Martinez out for around 6 months due to injury and Toni Kroos packing his bags for Madrid, Alonso is the perfect addition to Bayern Munich. The Spaniard fits the philosophy Pep Guardiola has implemented at the Allianz Arena with his range of passing skills and ability to dictate the tempo of play. Despite being 32 years of age, Alonso still has the legs to play at the highest level for a few more years.
Looking to learn from Alonso will be the young Sebastian Rode, who arrives on a free transfer from Eintracht Frankfurt. Yet another impressive central midfielder to come off of the conveyor belt of German talent, Rode is tipped to go on to big things. Combative and energetic, Rode is as good as he is going forward as he is defensively as he so often bursts from the midfield to join in on the attack. To secure such a young talent on a free, Bayern Munich have to be applauded.
Finally, to provide cover for arguably the best goalkeeper in the world right now, Pepe Reina arrives from Liverpool in a deal worth to be around £2m. Having spent the last season on loan at Napoli, Reina has impressed enough for Guardiola to believe he is the man to be Bayern’s backup goalkeeper should Manuel Neuer get injured or in need of a rest. Having such a accomplished keeper like Reina as a backup is not a bad option to fall back on.
A number of fresh faces have arrived at Bayern Munich this summer as Guardiola looks to mount a serious challenge for European glory as well as continue the dominance they currently maintain at the expense of title rivals Borussia Dortmund. It will be interesting to see if the new players gel and if they do, Bayern Munich will seriously benefit.
This article originally appeared in the WorldwideFootballingBlog
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