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Bayern's new signings show that the Bavarians mean business.

Friday 13th May 2016
If there is one accusation which can never be levelled at Bayern Munich, it's that they rest on their laurels. Having wrapped up a fourth consecutive Bundesliga title at the weekend at Ingolstadt, their third championship in three years under their soon to be former manager Pep Guardiola, Bayern probably could have been content with their current position in German football.

The Bavarians' recent dominance will have come as no surprise to those familiar with their squad, one which almost certainly possesses the greatest strength in depth of any team in the world, and Guardiola could have boasted of having two world class players to choose from in nearly every position when his entire roster is fit.

Despite their embarrassment of riches in terms with on-field personnel, Bayern have shown no desire to allow complacency to sink in. With the current season still yet to reach its conclusion, the German Champions have added further depth to their squad with the signings of Mats Hummels and Renato Sanches, from Borussia Dortmund and Benfica respectively.

It is the latest display of serious intent from Bayern, who had already wasted little time in softening any blow felt by the news of head coach Guardiola's impending departure from the club to join Manchester City, by replacing him with another of the game's premier coaches, Carlo Ancelotti.
Announcing Ancelotti as Pep's successor was an astute move, as despite being set to lose one of Europe's best and most sought after coaches, Ancelotti's appointment means that a coach of similar profile and pedigree has been brought in to continue the lofty level of achievement delivered by his predecessor.

In a similar vein, Bayern have further re-enforced an already stellar playing squad, with the additions of two much sought after players in Hummels and Sanches. Both players would have been likely targets for a myriad of Europe's elite teams. Having announced his decision to leave Dortmund and his desire to return to Bayern- the club where he started his career- Hummels' decision will have garnered some rueful glances from other footballing powerhouses, and very few sides in world football would not have been improved by Hummels, a World Cup-winning central defender with Germany.

The acquisition of Hummels is a real coup for Bayern, and the classy centre-half is likely to line up alongside the brilliant Jerome Boateng in the centre of the Bayern defence, recreating their central defensive partnership from the German national team. Having two world class defenders playing alongside one another, who already have a degree of familiarity to their partnership having played together before, will almost certainly further strengthen the Bundesliga's meanest defence (Bayern have only conceded 16 Bundesliga goals this season.)

All but guaranteed to be slotted straight into Bayern's first team for next season, Hummels' signing is certainly one for the present. The capture of Benfica's Renato Sanches is more likely to be one to bolster the long-term future of the Bayern team, with 18-year-old Sanches being one of football's brightest young stars.

Sanches's stock has risen considerably after a breakthrough campaign in Lisbon, and the teenage midfielder was a known target for many top European sides, most prominently by Manchester United, whose interest in Sanches was much-publicised.

To Bayern's credit, they acted quickly and ruthlessly to obtain Sanches' signature at a relatively early stage, and their decisiveness in identifying and acquiring their main transfer targets has allowed them to comfortably beat their rivals in the race for one of the most desired young players on the market.

The double signing of Hummels and Sanches has ensured that Bayern have laid down a crucial marker going into next season. In adding two quality talents to their already bountiful collection of terrifically talented footballers on the club's books, they have stated their intent that they will not regret following the departure of their coach, Guardiola, but that they will strengthen their position as German football's resident powerhouse.

Dortmund appear the team most likely to even push them close at the top of the Bundesliga, but with Dortmund's Captain Hummels following Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski out of the Westfalenstadion to the apparent greener pastures at the Allianz Arena. Bayern have also dealt a major blow to the nearest contenders by snatching their skipper, and simultaneously strengthening their own resolve.

It is the latest sign that Bayern remain a few steps ahead of their domestic rivals in terms of recruitment and appeal to players. It also acts as a warning, that despite the fact Guardiola was unable to bring European silverware to Bayern during his three-year stay in Bavaria, successor Carlo Ancelotti has been provided with additional ammunition in the shape of Hummels and Sanches, to push for Champions League glory.

Ancelotti was no doubt delighted at the prospect of the squad he was set to inherit, but with the additions of Mats Hummels and Renato Sanches to back Ancelotti having been finalised so swiftly, the Bayern board have made it clear that continued domestic dominance, and European triumph are what they expect from their new head coach. No pressure, Carlo!
Michael Soloman
Journalist. Long-suffering Derby County fan, Lionel Messi and Barca bandwagon-er.

Total articles: 38

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