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FC Bayern Munich: Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is an important building block



FC Bayern Munich, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Robert Lewandowski, Bundesliga, analysis, commentary, contract extension

According to media reports, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has extended FC Bayern Munich until 2024. In view of his strong performance, this decision is only logical. But the record champion should still think about another attacker.

0.93 goals per 90 minutes, 15 in 24 appearances – plus four assists. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is arguably in the shape of his life. With the forthcoming contract extension, he is now collecting the reward for it. When Robert Lewandowski left FC Bayern last summer, many expected a major slump on the offensive.

That it didn’t happen is due in large part to Choupo-Moting. The 33-year-old scored at will, especially in October and November, and brought Bayern out of the crisis at an important time. But it’s not just his goals that make him so important for the record champions. Choupo-Moting is the perfect wall player. He regularly finds himself between the opponent’s lines and can process the balls with his technical skills. This gives the remaining offensive players more space and, above all, time.

It is therefore not surprising that some media suspect that FC Bayern would like to start next season with him as a regular player. But that’s exactly what the series champion of the Bundesliga could gamble away with. Because as good as Choupo-Moting is at the moment and as good as Bayern are in all competitions: Lewandowski’s quality is more lacking than first glance suggests.

FC Bayern Munich: Robert Lewandowski was the man for impending crises

A look into the past: FC Bayern won the treble in the 2019/20 season. After Hansi Flick took over from Munich, they marched dominantly in the second half of the season and were superior to all three titles. At least that’s the narrative. But between January and February there was a phase in which the team of today’s national coach increasingly wobbled.

The results hardly indicate that. There were seven games in 2020 before the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 at Chelsea. Bayern collected six wins and a 0-0 draw against RB Leipzig. But individually, there were a few key moments along the way.

For example, in the round of 16 of the DFB Cup, when you narrowly won 4:3 against TSG Hoffenheim at home in a wild game. One reason for the win: Lewandowski’s brace. A few days later, Bayern were threatened with a draw against SC Paderborn. However, a late brace from Lewandowski brought victory.

Bayern won clearly and deservedly against 1. FC Köln (4-1) and FSV Mainz 05 (3-1). However, it was Lewandowski who gave them a 1-0 lead in the early stages. It is pointless to speculate afterwards about how things would have gone without the Pole. But in the past there were more such season phases.

In December 2020, a 1-1 draw at Union Berlin (Lewandowski equalised) was followed by two narrow 2-1 wins against Wolfsburg and Leverkusen. Lewandowski scored twice in both games and scored the win against Bayer in the third minute of added time. Also in January and February Bayern won close games thanks to his goals.

FC Bayern Munich: Robert Lewandowski and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in comparison

Statistics (per 90 minutes) Choupo Moting (22/23) Lewandowski (21/22) Lewandowski (20/21) Lewandowski (19/20)
shots 3.04 4.28 4.28 4.60


0.93 1:13 1.24 1.20
Expected Goals 0.48 1.02 1.09 1:12

FC Bayern Munich: Too many draws – where are the match winners?

It may be that Bayern will play similarly good football without Lewandowski. They showed what they are capable of, especially in the phases of the season when things were going well for the record champions. But even for the top teams, a season moves in waves. And then you need players who consistently perform at an absolutely world-class level. This gives the rest of the team support and ensures that small dips in form do not immediately lead to crises in results.

The simplest formula in football is: whoever wins is right. Hardly anyone remembers the individual achievements in spring 2020 today. At the end of the season there was also a treble because Lewandowski was able to bridge this phase with his goals. That failed twice this season.

In the first half of the season there was a series of draws. Bayern missed numerous chances and failed to convert their superiority into victories. From week to week they seemed to become more uncertain about it. If the results are not correct, self-confidence sinks. The first self-doubts arise and the team gets caught in a negative spiral.

That happened again to Bayern at the beginning of this year. And despite the convincing 3-0 win against Union Berlin, it is unclear whether they have survived this phase. Lewandowski’s goals may not be missing in absolute terms. Bayern’s goal average is outstanding at around three goals per game. And yet the many draws are striking, in which often not more than one goal was achieved.

FC Bayern Munich: Who stabilizes the fragile offensive?

Choupo-Moting had a phase before the World Cup in which, like Lewandowski, he scored very regularly. But he won’t be able to do that in the long run and nobody expects that from him who can realistically assess his qualities.

The solution does not necessarily have to be another nine – even if that were obvious. Rather, FC Bayern’s problem is that Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sané are not consistent enough, that Kingsley Coman is often injured and Jamal Musiala also shows fluctuating performances in his younger years. Without Lewandowski, the fragility of the offensive is particularly noticeable. Mathys Tel could be a player who regularly scores goals for FC Bayern. His current average of 0.96 goals per 90 minutes is remarkable. But the Frenchman is still very young. It will not be the appropriate solution in the short term.

Sadio Mané can bring a bit more consistency to the team as he is the player most likely to perform consistently given his experience and skill. But the Senegalese is not a goalscorer in the traditional sense either. And so for the coming season FC Bayern has to ask itself how it intends to get through phases of the season in which things don’t go by themselves.

Lewandowski was the man for those moments. In doing so, he significantly shortened the phases of stumbling. But the more often the team doesn’t win, the more unstable it becomes – and the more the pressure increases in the league, where 46 points from 22 games in the last ten years have rarely been enough to keep the title race open.

Choupo-Moting’s extension is an important building block. But the Cameroonian won’t be able to solve these kinds of problems.

FC Bayern Munich: The next three games of FCB

date and venue Opponent
Sat., March 4th, 6.30 p.m. (Mercedes Benz Arena) VfB Stuttgart (Bundesliga)
Wed., March 8, 9 p.m. (Allianz Arena) Paris Saint Germain (Champions League)
Sat., March 11, 3.30 p.m. (Allianz Arena) FC Augsburg (Bundesliga)