Bayern Munich midfielder Marcel Sabitzer has had a turbulent and tumultuous time in Bavaria. He was acquired late from RB Leipzig, never really started and shuttled between various positions in his cameos. The chorus advocating a quick sale is getting louder and louder. Here, some repressions: three reasons to keep the talented Austrian with a rocket blow.
We will need depth more than ever
December’s Men’s World Cup offers an unusually busy schedule. The season starts earlier, after an already rich month of June in the UEFA Nations League. Post-World Cup fatigue will be more difficult to manage; the Rückrunde will have two additional games and will be accompanied by the commercial end of the DFB-Pokal and the UEFA Champions League. In short, rotation will be more necessary than ever.
Whatever you think of Sabitzer, he’s still an experienced player, an international in his own right, and has years of demonstrated excellence in the Bundesliga. So far this transfer window is three in and (probably – Robert Lewandowski) four out.
It’s true that Bayern have plenty of young talents in midfield: Paul Wanner, Gabriel Vidović and newcomer Lovro Zvoranek, to name a few. If these players were to show up ready – and that’s a big if – it would be better if they had to go through Sabitzer rather than being anointed.
Bayern are a great team. Training grounds should be proving grounds, and this is not a year to get close to the margins.
He is a replacement for Thomas Müller
With Jamal Musiala now integrated – either on the wings or in central midfield – the jitterbug technician can no longer be considered a shadow of Müller.
Sabitzer has already played something similar to the Raumdeuterhis place as an attacking midfielder in the right half-space. Of course, no one does it quite like Müller, but that separates him from Sané and Musiala, who operate more generally in the left half-spaces.
This is a crucial area of ground to cover. With an eye to the future too: if Müller’s venerable career comes to an end, Sabitzer softens the landing. And he can allow for the inevitable tactical adjustments whenever Bayern’s legendary talisman is off the pitch. For now, he is at least an ideal player to keep Muller sharp, but not under threat.
With Sabitzer as AM, even a potential transfer of Konrad Laimer (to DM) may not affect his place in the squad.
Bayern could find suitors if they try, but are unlikely to do more than recoup the €15m originally spent. Marc Roca has just been sold for 12 M€ + add-ons. Sabitzer’s stock is at an all-time low.
Somewhere in there is still the coveted player who once lit up the Bundesliga. It’s something to bet on. A year of resurgence may open doors interesting enough for the two sides to conclude a move next summer. Or maybe it earns him his place here.
The club don’t need to be desperate to sell either. Süle, Tolisso and probably Lewandowski are big off-the-books earners, already covering revenue.
Elite clubs like Bayern will usually have more transfer spend than revenue. A Lewandowski sale should tip the balance the other way, and he may not be the last. On the contrary, it indicates the possibility – if not necessarily the wisdom – of new acquisitions.
It might make less sense to go buy a Sabitzer now. But it’s already there, and that makes all the difference.
Let’s not be brutal, right? No player has an easy way to acclimatize to FC Bayern’s melting pot. There is value – on a human and practical level – in working patiently and giving chances rather than making quick judgments and publicly trying to offload players who want to stay. An additional year of investment in Marcel Sabitzer has the chance to pay off and is the most productive way forward for all parties.