After the departure of Marc Roca, only two representatives of the Munich last-minute five-shot from October 2020 are left. A look back at a panicked squad expansion that blocked prospects for talent and didn’t do much for FC Bayern.
Unusual monthly uses are quite popular at FC Bayern Munich. Key word: championship celebrations in March! So this probably unique opportunity should not go unused: Because of the corona pandemic, the summer transfer window in 2020 was open until October 5th and there had never been such an autumn transfer offensive.
So FC Bayern announced the commitments of Marc Roca (then 23 years old, nine million euros), Bouna Sarr (28, eight million), Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (31, free of charge), Douglas Costa within just under 24 hours (30, loan) and Tiago Dantas (19, loan). Chief responsible for this was sports director Hasan Salihamidzic, who was then “satisfied”.
Almost two years later, this quite panicked approach can confidently be counted among the more failed activities in FC Bayern’s glorious history. Players came who didn’t help the team. Players were thus blocked from perspectives that the club itself had developed. And to make matters worse, it also cost a lot of money.
Salihamidzic: “Everything subordinate to the Champions League”
2020 was an extraordinary year: the corona pandemic swept through humanity, brought football competitions to a standstill and created economic uncertainties. FC Bayern didn’t let that deter them from a sporting perspective and scored the treble under coach Hansi Flick after the break.
“We subordinated everything to success in the Champions League tournament. We didn’t want to burden the team with rumors about coming or going players,” Salihamidzic later explained table football. On August 23, FC Bayern actually won the Champions League in Lisbon, but even after that, nothing happened on the transfer market: nothing.
The departures of Philippe Coutinho, Ivan Perisic and Thiago reduced the squad at the top and the width. Until then, only the commitments of Leroy Sane (Manchester City) and the French defensive talent Tanguy Nianzou (Paris Saint-Germain) were fixed. Alexander Nübel also replaced Sven Ulreich as reserve keeper.
The dream players Callum Hudson-Odoi and Sergino Dest
Right-back Sergino Dest from Ajax Amsterdam and winger Callum Hudson-Odoi from Chelsea, with whom Salihamidzic had “fallen in love” a year and a half earlier, according to Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, were soon identified as players of choice. Neither of the two transfers worked, in each case for financial reasons.
For a loan from Hudson-Odoi, Chelsea demanded the picture according to penalties for too few bets and a purchase obligation of 77 million euros from a certain number of games. Dest ultimately switched to FC Barcelona for 21 million euros.
“There are transfers that get to the point where you have to say: We’re out now,” said Salihamidzic. “It is all the more important that you think about alternatives or alternative routes from the start.” For Dest and Hudson-Odoi the alternatives were: Bouna Sarr and Douglas Costa, both not unknown in Munich.
Bouna Sarr and Douglas Costa: not unknown in Munich
Sarr had convinced in a test match with Olympique Marseille before the Champions League final tournament. “I played quite well. Your coach liked my performance and he said he wanted me,” he said after joining RMC. Sarr must have gotten his best performance at exactly the right time: the fact that FC Bayern ultimately paid eight million euros for him caused quite a surprise in his home country of France.
The reference values were higher for Douglas Costa, as he had already played for FC Bayern from 2015 to 2017: initially a bit promising, then quite disappointing. President Uli Hoeneß then said goodbye to him with a proper resignation to Juventus Turin: “Costa didn’t work because he was quite a mercenary, and we didn’t like his character.”
In the emergency of a last transfer day with the need for a new winger, such allegations are quickly forgotten. “The character is one thing we look at, but we didn’t just choose it,” said Salihamidzic at Costa’s presentation and added, not without reason: “Football is played here.”