The Bundesliga season will end in roughly two months, but Bayern Munich are already making waves and movements towards the 2019-20 season. Although these are not the kind of moves that are easy to understand.
This Tuesday it was revealed that the reigning Bundesliga champions have reached a deal with Atletico Madrid to sign Lucas Hernandez. The France international will join the German powerhouse for a reported €80 million, but that’s not all. Considering he is expected a sign a six-year deal worth €13M per year.
Adding it all up, it would be a deal that would cost Bayern almost €160M in total. This would make Lucas the most expensive defender in the world, and the most expensive transfer for the Bundesliga. And there’s only one conclusion we can take out of this deal: Bayern are paying an insane amount of money here.
The problem here doesn’t necessarily lie in the transfer fee. With transfers getting exponentially more and more expensive after each year, it’s only a matter of time before we get used to above-average players end up costing over €75M. The market dictates everything and teams are willing to pay. But the issue with this deal lies on two separated fronts: the kind of player Bayern are breaking the bank for, and the consequences this might bring for Bayern.
What could happen with Bayern Munich following this move?
First, it’s not like Lucas is the best left-back in the world. Sure, he’s an above-average player who won the 2018 World Cup with Les Bleus. But he’s been a regular starter for Bayern… for how long? One-and-a-half season? That’s certainly not enough to pay a world-record fee for his services.
His versatility is a plus, however, since he can operate as a centre-back or as a left-back. But is he a better centre-back than Niklas Süle, Jerome Boateng or Mats Hummels? Is he a better left-back than David Alaba? There could even be an argument of him being below Juan Bernat since the Spaniard fits better on the attacking-minded style of Niko Kovac.
Plus, there will be consequences for Bayern. Counting Hernandez, now Bayern have four centre-backs that are good enough to start. And three left-backs for only one position. Someone must go, and it won’t be Hernandez. Alaba has been linked with a move to Barcelona – and that doesn’t make much sense either due to the presence of Jordi Alba – and either Boateng or Hummels could be on the move, too. It’s hard to imagine either of these three players playing elsewhere, but that might happen as soon as next season.
But getting back to Hernandez. No one could doubt his quality and potential. But has he done enough to become the most expensive defender in football history? Obviously, that’s a no. And Bayern have paid way too much to get a player that might never be the game-changing presence they’re looking for.
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