The rather short Winterpause or the winter-break in German football is set to come to an end this weekend as the Bundesliga gets back underway. Bayern Munich are the league leaders heading into MD14, leading Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig by just two points. The Bavarians have been far from their best this season, and here, at the 4Th Official, we will take a look at three players who need to step for Bayern in the Ruckrunde.
Benjamin Pavard has been a huge disappointment for FC Bayern this season. Heading into the 2020/21 campaign as one of the most highly-rated right-backs in Europe, the Frenchman has struggled with a lack of form for most of the season.
Especially in the defensive department, Pavard has struggled to integrate himself into Bayern Munich’s high-risk defensive line. As a result, he has often been exposed by pacy wingers on the right flank, causing Bayern to concede cheap goals. In fact, the Bavarians have already conceded 20 so far, which is more than 60% of what they had let in throughout last season.
Pavard’s poor performances even saw him settle for a place on the bench with Niklas Sule operating as a right-back. It clearly doesn’t bode well for the defender’s future, and the player certainly needs to step up if he is to remain a key player in this world-class team.
Leroy Sane’s arrival from Manchester City in the summer offered a lot of optimism for the Bayern Munich camp. His partnership with Serge Gnabry was widely expected to terrorise the Bundesliga defences, helping Hansi Flick find the ideal replacement for Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery’s iconic duo.
Unfortunately, Sane has shown very little promise during his ongoing six-month stint at Allianz Arena so far. While the winger has been able to showcase occasional signs of brilliance, there has been a lack of overall consistency. In fact, he has fallen behind Gnabry and Kingsley Coman in the pecking order and now risks losing his place to Jamal Musiala if his poor form continues.
While there is no doubt that Bayern Munich need to be patient with Sane, it is fair to point out that the winger himself needs to improve his performances in order to establish himself as a key first-team figure at the Allianz Arena.
Much like Sane and Pavard, Sule’s dip in form this season doesn’t bode well for FC Bayern, as far as their long-term plans are concerned. He is, after all, the club’s desired defensive leader going forward, when David Alaba and Jerome Boateng leave the club.
Although the German international hasn’t performed as bad as the other two players on this list, he has certainly failed to provide any real solidity into the backline. In fact, Sule has often been beaten for pace, with the defender evidently struggling to cope with Flick’s high line of press.
Sule’s imposing presence at the back gives his team a huge advantage in aerial and physical duels. But, he needs to improve on his consistency in this Ruckrunde as Bayern prepare for life without the likes of Alaba and Boateng.
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