Connect with us


A dear Rafinha would be ideal now



A dear Rafinha would be ideal now

Bayern Munich will have to do without left-back Alphonso Davies in the medium term. What options does coach Julian Nagelsmann have?

When FC Bayern’s left defense made the national headlines for the last time, then President Uli Hoeneß stated at a legendary press conference: “The weal and woe of FC Bayern Munich does not depend on Juan Bernat.”

The older ones will remember: Bernat was a solid left-back who rarely played in his four years at Bayern – and when he did, then rather inconspicuously. At least until a disastrous Champions League quarter-final against Sevilla, when he had a bad day and was sold to Paris Saint-Germain as a penalty.

There was no official Bernat successor, so FC Bayern went into the 2018/19 season without a direct substitute for the nominal left-back David Alaba. However, this Alaba soon had to struggle with the tight schedule. On the 5th matchday against FC Augsburg, coach Niko Kovac saw no alternative to rest.

Leon Goretzka therefore had to help out at the left back. In an unfamiliar role, the midfielder looked disoriented and, to make matters worse, injured himself, but Alaba came into play at half-time. In the end it was a disappointing 1:1. Hoeneß eloquently countered criticism of the supposedly reckless sale of replacement left-back Bernat, pointing out that “our dear Rafinha happened to be injured”. Rafinha then acted as a wildcard for all defensive emergencies.

Shortly thereafter, Alaba was completely recovered, he hardly missed a game for the rest of the season and FC Bayern got the double. The following season he moved to central defence, with young Alphonso Davies starting at left back, who has been a seed ever since. And so to the topicality.

Alphonso Davies may be out “indefinitely X”.

Davies has been sidelined indefinitely with a heart attack. “You can’t say how quickly it heals. Anything is possible from at least four weeks to X indefinitely,” explained coach Julian Nagelsmann, calling the situation “modest to crappy to extremely crappy”. Unlike three years ago, this time it’s not about a few minutes, but a few whole games – in all likelihood even including the Champions League round of 16 against FC Salzburg.

FC Bayern has already had to play two games without Davies. Before his myocarditis was diagnosed in the run-up to the 4-0 win at 1. FC Köln, he missed the start of the second half of the season against Borussia Mönchengladbach (1-2) like half the team due to a corona infection.

Davies was represented in each case by nominal midfielder Marcel Sabitzer, who, in an unfamiliar role, did not recommend himself for further assignments. “He has to find his courage. I’m someone who likes brave players. He should just play freely from the soul,” demanded Nagelsmann after Sabitzer’s defensively flawed and offensively relatively accentless debut appearance. Things only got marginally better against Gladbach, so does someone else get the chance against Hertha BSC (5:30 p.m.) on Sunday? What alternatives does Nagelsmann have anyway?

FC Bayern: Possible alternatives to Marcel Sabitzer

A left-back deployment by Lucas Hernandez would not be so experimental, after all, he occasionally replaced Davies under Flick last season. Hernandez is currently still struggling with the aftermath of his corona infection, he only returned to team training on Wednesday. Especially with a view to the Davies case, Nagelsmann should not rush an operation. Omar Richards, who was signed as a kind of English Bernat before the season, also suffered from Corona. The 23-year-old has not recommended himself for higher tasks in his 382 competitive minutes so far.

“In Lucas Hernandez we have a player in the squad who can play the full-back position and in Richards a player who can play it with a different profile,” explained Nagelsmann. While the former winger Richards could stand in for the offensive Davies in a similar way, central defender Hernandez is more characterized by his duel strength.

Apart from this duo, the reserve team’s regular left-back Angelo Brückner could also be considered as an alternative. The 18-year-old recently extended his contract early until 2024, most recently he was allowed to train with the professionals.

Incidentally, Davies and Hernandez were also absent at the same time last season. Back then, the left-back position was held by either Bouna Sarr or Josip Stanisic. One is currently at the Africa Cup of Nations and the other is injured, as is the emergency solution from 2018 Leon Goretzka.

FC Bayern: Sergino Dest would be the ideal option

And what about an emergency purchase? Nagelsmann recently described himself as a “big fan of winter transfers” and explained: “We have important weeks ahead of us in the Bundesliga and in the Champions League. That’s why it’s important to sound out the market. If we get a player, he has to work immediately .”

Apart from being able to function immediately, a potential new left-back would also have to be willing to be a reserve player in the long term. Davies is likely to reclaim his regular place after recovery – and get it regardless of a newcomer. After all, there aren’t many better left-backs in the world.

From Bayern’s point of view, a new Rafinha, who can play on both sides of the defense if necessary, would be ideal. The real problem position is the right defence: Benjamin Pavard has been continuously reducing since his strong treble season 2019/20 and is also pushing into the centre; Joshua Kimmich has long since successfully satisfied his urge to play in the center and will not often volunteer as a temporary worker at right back; and Bouna Sarr is Bouna Sarr.

The real Rafinha is now 36 and not available, he switched from Gremio Porto Alegre to FC Sao Paulo in his Brazilian homeland a few days ago. Like Rafinha, who can be used on the left and right, Sergino Dest from FC Barcelona, ​​who is 15 years his junior, is said to have been interested in FC Bayern for two years.

A winter change is “rather unlikely”, announced his advisor Michael Reschke recently Ran: “One can assume that he will stay in Barcelona.” However, Reschke would maintain excellent relations with FC Bayern for any negotiations, after all he worked there for three years as technical director. Reschke started his service in Munich in the summer of 2014 at the same time as a certain Juan Bernat.