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Complete analysis: 10 players who can replace Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben

When you look back at the history of the Bundesliga, and the Champions League, you’ll need to dig incredibly deep to find a duo who have had a greater impact on a club like Robben and Ribery. Franck was once described by none other than Zinedine Zidane as the “Jewel of French football” – just before winning the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. The same year Bayern won the treble. Everything was good in the old days, but this was the situation 5 years ago. In 2018 …

Franck Ribery’s time at Bayern is over. This is what every Bayern fan has told himself after the games against Schalke and Wolfsburg. For me it’s very simple – we should move on and let go of a player who is 35 y.o. and won’t give much to the club. To keep him at this age, and watching him trying to dribble past 2 or 3 players and losing the ball is making every Bayern fan nervous. Probably Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is thinking just like me and many others, because in December 2017 he refused to commit himself to ensuring Ribery’s future.

Robben on the other hand is a different case. He is still world-class, and I think he still has something to offer. This Spring should show if it’s worth extending with him. If I was in Rummenigge’s position, I would have decided to renew his contract for 1 year IF he accepts to be a rotation player. Actually it’s looking like he’s just playing the same role this season. If he remains fit, he can probably play at least 2 more years at the highest level.

Now, everybody is making top 5s, but I will offer you 10 potential candidates for the starting left or right-wing position. Assuming that Bayern will continue to play with inverted wingers – this is going to mean that Coman will continue to play on the LW (he started his career on the RW in PSG), while our potential new starting winger will start on the right side of the pitch.

Name: Leon Bailey

Current team: Bayer Leverkusen

Age: 20

Market value: 40M

 + Strengths                                                   – Weaknesses

Crossing Very strong Tackling Very Weak
Long shots Very strong Holding the ball Weak
Key passes Strong Defense Weak
Dribbling Strong
Set-pieces Strong

So far, his statistics for the 17/18 season:

23 games (1683 minutes) – 11 goals (1 goal on every 153 minutes), 5 assists (1 assist on every 336 minutes);

Why Bailey ?

A true winger, Bailey can play either on the left side or the right side, but his majority of appearances coming from the right side. The 20 year old Jamaican is by his size – a pretty small character to deal with inside the box,but with his pace and agility he’s always one step ahead of almost every defender.His diverse skill-set allows him to play as a striker as well and Bailey has been utilized as a false nine already in the past (while he was playing at Genk). One thing that makes Bailey the player that he currently is, is his hunger and willingness to beat his man.

Why not him?

While Bailey looks like player with full arsenal when you look at his skills,there is one negative thing that he cannot change – he is too short,but he will need to increase his physical presence if he desires to play for Bayern. Secondly, Bailey’s passing needs to take a bump.  It stands at a 74.3 percent overall while giving almost 2 key passes per game.

Nobody asked me, but I think that.. Some time ago, just as Christian Falk reported, Salihamidzic excluded buying Bailey. Falk said that this is because Gnabry will return, but almost everybody sees Serge as a Coman reserve. Yes, he is talented, but he is not at the level of Leon, and since Bayern are looking for good results in Champions League every year – they cannot give up on Bailey so easily. Also, there are going to be a lot of candidates for his signature, and since most of them are from England – it’s going to be a hard for Bayern to fight for him.

Name: Thomas Lemar

Current Team: Monaco

Age: 22

Market value: 80M

 + Strengths                                                   – Weaknesses        

Set pieces Very strong No significant weaknesses
Key passes Strong
Crossing Strong
Holding the ball Strong
Passing Strong

So far, his statistics for the 17/18 season:

24 games (1718 minutes) – 3 goals (1 goal on every 572 minutes), 6 assists (1 assist on every 286 minutes);

Why Lemar?

I want to start with his personality: The guy is humble, shy and set to be the subject of more astronomical bids.

Why am I saying this?

The Guardian first reported that has turned down a 100M move to Arsenal in September 2017. 

“He’s a cool, simple guy who just does not feel comfortable with the media or the public.” Lenny Nangis, a former Caen colleague, agreed: “He does not like to put himself forward or talk about himself. He has always been like that.” Lemar has never sought attention but he cannot avoid the attention for much longer.”

More about this later.

Let’s go back to his qualities on the pitch – There is fierceness to Lemar’s play. His football IQ is very high,he is “educated in the game” and he is always looking for an opportonity to affect the game. He remains, for now, part of the collective rather than an orchestrator of games who will grab his team by their collective collars and drag them out of danger. He is very ambitious and his ambition always remains in the service of the collective.

Why not him?

Today, it’s looking that Lemar does not have any particular weaknesses. One area that he can improve is his decision-making. He is already very mature as a person, but if he want to step on the next level and to become a world-class player – this is the only thing that needs adjustment. The only weakness is his body – at 1.70m and 58kg, Lemar is clearly not the strongest or biggest of players and I think aerial duels are never going to be on his arsenal.

Nobody asked me, but I think that.. Bayern should seriously consider a move for him. Rummenigge said at the beginning of the year, that Bayern can pay 90-100M for someone, if he is going to keep the team at higher level. 

I started with his persona, because he is a collective player, never likes to talk about himself, and he’s giving all for the team – just a type of player that Bayern would love to have in the squad. After he saw what Arsenal did with Lacazette – I don’t think that they are still in the talks for him. I fear that Liverpool can be the potential buyers if they sell Salah to Real Madrid, but these are too many “If’s”.

With Tolisso and Coman already in Munich, they will help him a lot with the adapting to the club and the city. Bayern has a potential advantage over many other clubs who want him in their teams, but I’m not sure they realize it.

                              

Name: Gareth Bale

Current Team: Real Madrid

Age: 28

Market value: 75M

+ Strengths                                                   – Weaknesses

Aerial duels Strong Crossing Weak
Key passes Strong Discipline Weak
Finishing Strong    
Holding the ball Strong    

So far, his statistics for the 17/18 season:

20 games (1255 minutes) – 9 goals (1 goal on every 139 minutes), 6 assists (1 assists on every 209 minutes);

Why Bale?

I don’t think that I should talk much about his strengths. The whole world knows them. He is one of the fastest footballers in the world. He is known for his physical fitness, pace, strength, stamina, skill, heading ability, and agility, with a capacity to regularly get past defenders due to his acceleration, physicality, and athleticism.
Say no more, fam.

Why not him?

Injuries, injuries and more injuries. If he can stay healthy – he is one of the best in the world. Nothing more to add here.

Nobody asked me but… If we can make some deal like – paying the money for James at the end of this season, because obviously they are going to buy a lot of new players and they will need some cash – (it’s going to be 6.5M for the loan of the second year and 42M for his rights); and to make contract clauses like – X money for Y played games for Bale in 2, 3 years with paying let’s say – 60 % of the initial agreed amount. We need to be flexible in the eventual negotiations. Let’s not forget that we have good transfer relationship with Real Madrid.

Name: Christian Pulisic

Current Team: Borussia Dortmund

Age: 19

Market value: 60M

+ Strengths                                                   – Weaknesses

Dribbling Very strong Aerial Duels Weak

So far, his statistics for the 17/18 season:

28 games (2226 minutes) – 4 goals (1 goal on every 557 minutes), 3 assists (1 assists on every 742 minutes);

Why Pulisic?

The best part of his game is that he can play at both wings and as an midfielder. When Ribery came to Bayern,he was playing on the left side of the midfield so it not nessesery our new starter to “clear wing”. Cristian is using his two feet almost identical and this is why he is so special player. He already showed, thanks to his dribble and acceleration, that he can eliminate player after player, moreover in a high competition such as Champions League and top Bundesliga games, which is very impressive for a 19 year old student of the game. Nevertheless, his capabilities to dribble is sometimes too present in his game, losing balls that could be pass to teammates. If some compare him to Lionel Messi, he is still lacking vision and he rushes too often in madness dribbles instead of raising his head.

Why not him?

Well, first of all many will say because he is a Borussia player. We all know the stories how Bayern are “buying everything good from the other German clubs, they are killing the competition..” and many other similar comments. The truth is that since 2000 Bayern only bought 3 players from Dortmund – Torsten Frings in 2004 season (9.75M), Mario Götze – 2013 for (37M) and Mats Hummels came in 2016 for (35M). Probably a lot of people don’t know that Mats is a Bayern youth, after all – it was a homecoming for him. His father has told Sport Bild there is “no reason” for his son to move to Bayern Munich in 2017 season, when he signed a new contract with Dortmund.  Pulisic’s father Mark said: “Those are flattering words. Of course he dreams of playing for big clubs. But he is already at a great club and Bayern are a competitor. Thus there is currently no reason for him to go there.”

Nobody asked me, but I think that.. Although Dortmund have shown in recent years they’re happy to let their top players go for a big fee, they will feel as though Pulisic has a lot more to offer at the Westfalenstadion. The player still has a lot to learn and plenty of developing to do. So while the chance to join Bayern and challenge for the biggest honours would be tempting, another season at Dortmund would possibly be a sensible step for the youngster at this juncture. But if he finally decides to move on from Dortmund – Bayern are the team who can guarantee him the starting place, Bundesliga glory and shot at Champions League title almost every year, but they cannot pay wages like some other big European clubs. Are the reasons enough?

Name: Gonçalo Guedes

Current Team:Valencia (On loan from PSG for the 17/18 season)

Age: 22

Market value: 70M

+ Strengths                                                   – Weaknesses

Key passes Very strong Finishing Weak
Dribbling Very strong Crossing Weak
Holding the ball Strong
Passing Strong
Long shots Strong
Through balls Strong

So far, his statistics for the 17/18 season:

25 games (1529 minutes) – 5 goals (1 goal on every 305 minutes), 8 assists (1 assist on every 191 minutes);

Why Guedes?

Guedes might have turned 21 recently, but he has the vision of a player who has been involved in the game for decades. He meets in this premature stage of his development two of the three conditions that make a great footballer in one of those few players that make the difference in truth: he has several virtues accentuated to reach a level so above average that cause a clear effect of fascination and complex – the clearest being his brutal speed while he takes the ball under control – and he is perfectly aware of his personal potential  attributes and how he has to focus it to get the most out of it. He is enjoying playing the game. Franck Ribery represents the old guard of this form of winger. Yet in the right position and with the right team, Guedes has the ability to lead the future group of left sided counter attacking wingers.

Why not him?

The only negative thing about him that I find is that he may hold onto the ball too long, or just do something on the pitch that is unrealistic or unnecessary.

Nobody asked me, but I think that.. Guedes is going to be Portugal’s new superstar (sorry, Renato). The next step for Guedes will be to establish himself as a starter of the team, and he will impress in the 2018 World cup for Portugal. A move to a big club is bound to happen. Just like his Portugal and Benfica predecessors, Guedes will likely move to a big European club if he continues his good run of form for Valencia. As he will likely be courted by either Premier League clubs, or the big two in Spain because of the money that they can offer. Actually, the latter is already happening. The most important for him will be to make a name for himself in Russia, because once you do that – the possibilities are endless. Just a reminder that we already have the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot 2014 winner – James Rodriguez, so Bayern may try to land the World’s “hottest” player directly after the tournament  (if he picks up the noise).

Name: Malcom

Current Team: Bordeaux

Age: 20

Market value: 50M

+ Strengths                                                   – Weaknesses

Long shots Very strong Defense Very weak
Key passes Strong
Set-pieces Strong
Dribbling Strong
Crossing Strong
Holding the ball Strong
Passing Strong

So far, there are his statistics for the 17/18 season:

27 games (2232 minutes) – 8 goals (1 goal on every 279 minutes), 7 assists (1 assist on every 318 minutes);

Why Malcom?

It was last season that he truly became a key player for Bordeaux and began to display the ability that suggested he could go on to be a top-class performer for a bigger club abroad. Bordeaux finished sixth in the Ligue 1 standings and Malcom was one of their best players. From his right-wing position, he contributed seven goals and four assists, improving with the team during the second half of the season and producing some moments of outstanding individual skill. And he is even better this season. He was already watched by a Bayern official this season.

Why not him?

Probably Bordeaux are not the best offensive team, so it’s hard to judge him about his shot selection. It’s looking like this is his biggest weakness in offense. With the right coach and the right system, he can finall may also play some defense.

Nobody asked me, but I think… There is a long tradition of Brazilians shining in Bordeaux colours, so Malcom is in a good place to show what he is capable; with that being said – I like his playing style. He and Bailey are the closest players to Robben. His agent, Fernando Garcia, has nonetheless claimed that his client wants to stay at Bordeaux for another season before leaving unless ‘a big offer comes in’, while Malcom himself has said that his family has fallen in love with city. Bayern can be his next big step.

Before I continue with the list, I should say something about Julian Brandt.

In the coming summer Julian Brandt, whose contract ends in 2019, could leave Bayer Leverkusen for a fixed 18 million euros. Sport Bild reported that there is no future for him in Bayern and he is looking to sing a contract extension with Bayer. A couple of days later Kicker wrote that he is not a option for FC Bayern, because they are looking at top targets.

My personal views about him are mostly about his his weaknesses:

Albeit I think he is accomplished in attack,a player with great vision and great football IQ – the same amount of praise cannot be given to him in regards to defending.And this is his biggest weakness for me. Across the years, Brandt has seen himself leave his supporting full back exposed as a result of his lack of defensive contribution. This then causes a problem for the left back as a result of the fact that he is left with much more work to do in defense and potentially has to deal with two opposing players when they are attacking. Considering Brandt’s young age, this is not necessarily the biggest issue in the world, but his contribution in defense must be improved upon in the near future, and given the fact that Alaba is not from the players that are staying in defense all day long – I’m seeing the openings in the left side of the pitch with these two playing together.

Julian maybe will become a very good, world class player one day, but I just don’t feel like he’s ready for the big stage at Bayern and I don’t think that he is a player who can take us on another level. Maybe I’m wrong, but i see too many similarities with Götze; almost the same things about Brandt (lack of speed, no defensive contribution) was said for him before his transfer in Bayern and we know how this ended. For now, it’s looking like Bayern made a good decision to leave him in the longyard.

Now, let’s roll again.

Name: Gelson Martins

Current Team: Sporting CP

Age: 22

Market value: 60M

+ Strengths                                                   – Weaknesses

Holding the ball Strong Aerial duels Weak
Passing Strong    
Key passes Strong    
Dribbling Strong    

So far, his statistics for the 17/18 season:

35 games (2778 minutes) – 10 goals (1 goal on every 278 minutes), 10 assists (1 assist on every 278 minutes);

Why Martins?

Luis Figo – Gelson Martins reminds me most of myself. Mainly a winger on both flanks, Martins can also operate as a right back, a trait which cemented his place in the junior national teams.

Leaving him in one-on-one situations is trouble waiting to happen for his marker and it’s not uncommon that Gelson will attempt to beat two or more adversaries in front of him, and often come out as a winner.

He was averaging 2.3 dribbles and 1.4 key passes per game , which is just a little bit behind Liverpool’s Sadio Mane who had 2.5 dribbles and 1.6 key per-game last season. However, Gelson’s work-rate is and defensive contribution admirable too, as he has no problems at putting pressure on the opposition backline or tracking back to help his team. He’s always trying to find ways to be involved in a game by opening himself up to his teammates and is not afraid to take responsibility.

Why not him?

He needs to work on his finishing and composure as he can be wasteful in front of goal.

Nobody asked me, but… Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Ricardo Quaresma all have had an enormous talent and a lot of things in common. They are all Portuguese wingers who graduated at Sporting Lisbon’s renowned Alcochete academy and who were predestined to reach the absolute pinnacle of football in their careers. While you could make a case that Nani has had a decent career, the same cannot be said about Quaresma who never fulfilled his potential. Cristiano Ronaldo, whom some said at the time was the least talented of the three, outworked his fellow countrymen in the following years and is now considered one of the greatest players this sport has witnessed.

Sporting’s academy was producing great players before them and has continued to do so after, but many clubs are now more cautious and are taking their time in assessing their youngsters. Not everyone can be a new Cristiano Ronaldo, of course, but also not everyone is another Ricardo Quaresma destined to disappoint. Gelson Martins, their latest gem, who’s taking the same path at the early stage of his career as the aforementioned players, can no longer be ignored. He has been scouted by Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern, Chelsea and other top club across Europe in the past two years. The Sporting star has a contract until the summer of 2021 and a release clause of 60m but it is believed that Sporting could accept a lower fee, and we all know that Bayern are recently doing a great job with the deals, so I’m not going to be surprised if the Germans act quickly.

Name: Florian Thauvin

Current Team: Olympique Marseille

Age: 25

Market value: 70M

 

+ Strengths                                                   – Weaknesses

Long shots Very strong Defense Weak
Key passes Strong    
Dribbling Strong    
Finishing Strong    
Passing Strong    
Set-pieces Strong    

So far, there are his statistics for the 17/18 season:

36 games (2762 minutes) – 16 goals (1 goal on every 173 minutes), 15 assists (1 assist on every 184 minutes);

Why Thauvin?

I will leave Mr. Raffaele Poli to help me with this one. Thauvin is part of this handful of players whose valuation is updated every week by the CIES (International Center for the Study of Sport) Football Observatory, specialized in the analysis of the transfer market. “Its value estimated last week by our algorithm stood at just over 70 million, and it has progressed further and we are going to to update” reported Raffaele Poli after the game against Metz (Marseille won 6-3,Thauvin scored 3 goal and ssisted 1) who heads the Observatory.

“If there are any changes in the valuation of players above a certain threshold, we update every week, otherwise it’s every month. Thauvin is a player who is re-evaluated from week to week because he scores, he makes passes, dribbles … But also because OM has a good season, which is also a key criterion of the valorization of the players. “, said Poli.

Thauvin will usually stay closer to the middle of the pitch while the full backs take full ownership of the wing area (he can be very good partner with Kimmich), kind of lurking around to see if there’s space to run into so he can play a final ball.

There will also be times where nothing is going on in terms of support and Thauvin takes the ball from around the midfield area and gets it to the final third by dribbling. In Bayern with the likes of Thiago, Tolisso, Goretzka and James he will be with bigger freedom, because often he is wasting too much energy trying to be the playmaker for Olympique.

Why not him?

At the moment, he does not have any significant weaknesses in his game. Thauvin has replaced his arrogance with maturity and consistency and has won talisman status at Marseille, a place in Didier Deschamps’ France squad and reported links with Atlético Madrid and Bayern Munich. The only bad thing about him is that he is older than everybody else on this list, but at the age of 25, he is just entering his prime.

Nobody asked me, but.. 16 goals and 15 assists in 36 games? In 2017 Thauvin was the most decisive French player in Europe (17 goals + 11 assists = 28 total) and it’s better than Griezmann, Lacazette, Benzema, Lemar, Martial, Dembele and Coman… He is an amazing player. His offensive contribution so far in this season is only behind Neymar’s – 28 goals, 16 assists in 27 games, Messi – 27 goals and 14 assists in 36 games and Sergio Agüero – 28 goals, 5 assists in 32 games.

Yes, I agree that his time at Newcastle was a disaster, but let’s not forget that they were coached by Steve McLaren. That’s challenging for anyone, let alone a young French kid in his first big move.

Name: Antony Martial

Current Team: Manchester United

Age: 22

Market value: 80M

+ Strengths                                                   – Weaknesses

Finishing Strong Crossing Weak
Dribbling Strong Defense Weak
Long shots Strong

So far, his statistics for the 17/18 season:

36 games (1905 minutes) – 11 goals (1 goal on every 173 minutes), 9 assists (1 assist on every 211 minutes);

Why Martial?

Last year was not his best one. However, the support of the public remained intact, he was not whistled and everyone believed in him, thanks to the memories of a fantastic first season. This season he is showing that he is still one of the most promising wingers in the world – he is super fast, with good dribble and he can finish with goal in almost every position.

Why not him?

He struggles in the air, which is something he must work. The other thing that I think he should work about is him crossing – he is penetrating the opposite defense easily, but it’s a matter of time when the defenders are going go adapt to his game. We already had one player with similar playing style – Douglas Costa and at the end it did not end well for the club and the player. While there is no doubt that Antony is clearly the better player from Costa, probably Rummenigge is not looking for the same type of player anymore.

Nobody asked me, but… Bayern already showed the English elite that you don’t need to pay super big money when signing stars. This will be not the case with United and Martial.His contract is until the end of 2019,so I think that there is a chance of getting the deal done for something around 60-70M, but he is not such an popular option in Munich.

Name: Federico Chiesa

Current Team: Fiorentina

Age: 20

Market value: 50M

+ Strengths                                                   – Weaknesses

Dribbling Strong Crossing Weak

So far, there his statistics for the 17/18 season:

25 games (2069 minutes) – 5 goals (1 goal on every 414 minutes),4 assists (1 assist on every 517 minutes);

Why Chiesa?

He is 175 cm tall and weighs 70 kg, but still – he is good in air play despite not being a very high, he can use his both feet, despite being a natural right. Dribbling and shooting are his best qualities, connected to a great physical resistance that allows him to act in both phases of the game.Player who can occupy many positions for its characteristics: second striker, right wing, left wing 3 and outside of right or left midfield (both 4 and 5). It is precisely in these last two positions that Paulo Sousa places him this year.

Why not him?

According to outsideoftheboot, Chiesa has found difficulties in correctly maintaining his position both in the offensive and in the defensive phase and the other biggest weakness is that at the end of the match, in fact, he’s usually the player who loses most possession – even if he’s also the one who takes more initiative.

Nobody asked me but… Couple of months ago there was couple reports claiming that Bayern are looking for him. Since then, there is not a single article saying that the German giants are paying attention to him. My personal opinion is that he is a high risk/high reward type of transfer, and he needs someone who is working well with the youngsters – (Jupp, Tuchel ?). For a lot of Serie A followers that I talk with, he is a talented player with bright future, but the fact that he is still not well established in Europe can cool off the next step in his career at the moment.

How do you guys think, who will be Bayern’s new winger?

*The statistics are current as of 18.02.18.

Used information from: outsideoftheboot.com;Whoscored.com;transfermarkt.com;

 

 

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  • Alaba says:


    Leon baily is our best bet,I have complete faith in coman to replace ribery I am absolutely sure he can do it with the right guidance
    That boy malcom isn’t bad either, I’ve watched him a few times

    • IsiahRashad says:


      Yes,

      Leon is probably one step further,because he knows Germany well. The same thing can be said for Pulisic too.

      Malcom is always impressing,he had couple of bad games last month,but Bordeaux are overall a very bad team this year,so it’s hard to judge him.