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Why FCB don’t have to think long about Dani Olmo



Dani Olmo, Spain

FC Bayern Munich has Dani Olmo from RB Leipzig on the list. But how does the attacking midfielder fit in at FCB – and what does that mean for opponents like Thomas Müller or Leroy Sané?

Dani Olmo’s strengths are well known. He is an outstanding playmaker, has a good move to the goal himself and emits the danger of finishing.

At the latest in the DFB Cup semi-final against SC Freiburg, he convinced everyone: one goal, three assists and the complete dismantling of the sports club were the responsibility of the Spaniard. Again and again he found his colleagues with interface passes behind the chain. He only made 15 passes in the entire game, but five of them resulted in great chances.

At just 25, Olmo is a key player in the Spanish national team and one of the most sought-after attacking playmakers in the world.

No wonder that FC Bayern Munich now has him on the list according to information from SPOX and GOAL. But Olmo is a trained ten – and the record champion is actually well occupied, isn’t it? SPOX and GOAL explain how Dani Olmo would strengthen FCB.

FC Bayern – Dani Olmo: Attacking everywhere at home

The Spaniard is a central attacking midfielder. But many teams now play formations without this position or rely on other types of players there. But that doesn’t bother Olmo at all, because he can bring his qualities onto the field from all offensive positions.

At Leipzig, for example, he currently plays mostly as a left attacking midfielder in a 4-2-2-2 or as a left ten in a 3-4-2-1. From all positions, however, he pushes into his preferred central spaces and leaves the wing to the left-back. He often plays the same basic position as a left winger in the Spanish national team, but acts much more wing-heavy and only swaps with his colleagues in the attacking trio again and again.

In addition to his two regular positions, Olmo can be used almost anywhere. In the 2021 European Championship semifinals against Italy he played as a false nine in the lead, in the DFL Supercup in summer 2022 against FC Bayern he came on as a central midfielder in the double six and scored a goal and an assist there. And as a right winger he plays similar spaces as from the left – just starting from the other side.

Overall, Dani Olmo has a very similar position profile to Bayern’s top youngster Jamal Musiala. But they are fundamentally different as player types.

FC Bayern – Dani Olmo: creative player with the last pass

If you are looking for a job description for Dani Olmo, it could be “problem solver” at Leipzig. Because one of the problems with the Saxons is that they play extremely fast-paced football, but the opponents like to be closely spaced and don’t open up a lot of space for the pace. Olmo solves this problem brilliantly. He creates and finds passing routes to his strikers like no other.

With 1.74 through passes per 90 minutes (after OPTA) he plays as many deep balls as only 0.1 percent of attacking midfielders from Europe’s top 5 leagues. In terms of assists, he made it into the top 20 of the comparison group with 0.3 per 90 minutes. If you look at the calculated expected assists (i.e. adjusted for the completion of his teammates), he is even in the top five percent at 0.36.

His passes result in a strong 3.78 shots per 90 minutes – top 6 in the peer group. In general, he makes a decisive contribution to 0.76 goals for his teammates during this period (through a pass, tackle or saved shot).

FC Bayern: What would an Olmo transfer mean for Müller, Musiala and Co

A superstar purchase often means a superstar has to leave. FC Bayern Munich’s offensive is peppered with stars: Thomas Müller, Leroy Sané, Jamal Musiala and so on. These three players in particular recently played in central-oriented roles behind a center forward at FCB.

But the big question of who exactly could be replaced by Dani Olmo is difficult to answer. Actually, the Olmo type of player doesn’t even exist in Munich yet. Game shifts, chip balls, interface passes – that’s mostly Joshua Kimmich’s job. With Olmo you would install a Kimmich-like player in a second place on the field and thus become more variable and dangerous.

Is it the end of Thomas Müller? After rumors about possible departure thoughts, Müller responded via social media. “Thomas is Bayern Munich. And Bayern Munich is Thomas,” said FCB coach Thomas Tuchel on Friday about a possible farewell to the club legend, only he can decide that. Müller’s statements do not indicate a change.

FC Bayern: Would Olmo access be the end of Leroy Sané?

Leroy Sané is most likely to have problems. Jamal Musiala is mainly on his way forward with the ball at his feet – or it is only played in the penalty area. With 5.98 ball touches in the penalty area per 90 minutes, the youngster is clearly ahead in the three-man comparison – Sané is at 4.63, Olmo at 3.66. In order to avoid Musiala, Sané keeps falling deeper and supports the creative development. Olmo would fill this role better.

As a type of player, Sané does a lot of what Musiala also does. Müller’s type of player does not replace any of the groups, and not even Musiala is that focused on the penalty area. Müller plays the fewest passes forward or into the penalty area, and rarely dribbles. He finds the rooms to be played there. But here, too, Sané would not be an upgrade if he had this nose: His degrees in the current season always leave a lot to be desired.

But of course that doesn’t have to mean that Sané is worthless for Bayern. It can also be effective in spaces on the wing. Especially under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, the 27-year-old was very often found on the left sideline, then combined from the outside into the middle. The problem: With Alphonso Davies you have a full-back on the left who plays in these spaces. It will be difficult to find a place for Sané’s strengths on the pitch.

Dani Olmo: A good transfer for Bayern Munich?

The big question that arises at the end: Would it be a good transfer at all if FC Bayern Munich grabbed Dani Olmo? RB Leipzig will let the superstar cost a lot. According to information from SPOX and GOAL are around 40 million euros.

The answer is clear and is: Yes! Especially for a relatively cheap 40 million. Olmo creates a number of chances that FCB has never seen before – and that’s exactly what they’ve struggled with lately. The German record champion did not get any outstanding degrees on the pitch. This was partly due to the lack of a striker, but also to the lack of support. Kimmich’s chip passes not only ensured victory once – but he can’t do everything alone either.

An Olmo signing would arguably come with some squad reshuffling, which is necessary anyway. Whether this ultimately hits Müller, Sané or even Serge Gnabry when he is permanently shifted to the wing is open. But Dani Olmo adds an important profile to Bayern’s recipe for success – and at a good price.

Dani Olmo – his career so far

season Association games Gates
2020 – now RB Leipzig 120 21
2014 – 2020 Dinamo Zagreb 124 34
2007 – 2014 Barcelona FC