Bayern München defender David Alaba wins a duel. He gives the ball to Thiago Alcantara who switches the gameplay. Robert Lewandowski with ice in his veins completes a deadly strike. This trio was a key component of Bayern’s victory in the 2019–2020 season. As they swept both the league and the Champions League with Hansi Flick watching from the sidelines. Thiago was the facilitator, Alaba was the star player, and Lewandowski was a dependable goal scorer. Even elite competitors like Chelsea (3-0/4-1) or Barcelona (8-2) were easily defeated as one cog worked into the other. Paris Saint-Germain was also defeated in the final (1-0).
The gaps have not been filled in since that time. Since Alaba left Real Madrid, no new defensive coordinator has emerged in Bayern München. Although he has the potential to accomplish so, Lucas Hernandez keeps getting derailed by injuries. In the second year, Dayot Upamecano makes too many significant mistakes. It is perhaps too early for anyone to dismiss or praise Matthijs de Ligt. Of course, both Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich, when fit, are key players in the middle of the field.
However, the lightness and technique of Thiagos (now in Liverpool), who created so many moments of surprise, is missing for both. And the Lewandowski gap? Sadio Mane is a different type of player, Kingsley Coman is already being considered as a new player. The Pole, on the other hand, has scored eleven times for Barcelona in the league. It shows: Sports director Hasan Salihamidzic was still unable to adequately replace the three key players in the Champions League triumph. That’s one of the reasons why coach Julian Nagelsmann and his team are in the deep.