What Does 2016 Hold For Bayern Munich?
Bayern Munich enters 2016 with high expectations. They have dominated the Bundesliga and are poised to make a long run in the European Championships. Anything short of a win in both will likely be considered a failure by many who follow Bayern.
After months of speculation, it is now known that this will be Pep Guardiola’s last season with the team; he will be replaced by Carlo Ancelotti. If Guardiola is unable to bring a trophy home from the European Championships, it will likely affect his legacy.
There are a number of ways that the rest of the season may play out for Bayern Munich. Bleacher Report recently posted an interesting article, which runs through some of the predictions for the team in the months ahead. Here are some of the bold predictions of what we could see:
1) Bayern Munich Wins The Treble
Bayern Munich has had an outstanding first half of the season. They are cruising in the Bundesliga, giving them the chance to focus on their cup games. They are clear favorites in the DFB-Pokal given their dominance against all domestic opposition. Against the top-flight teams, they have faced that are still in the Pokal, Bayern has won all five of their games this season. The aggregate scoreline was a staggering 15-1.
The Championships League is a much bigger question mark. Bayern has had its ups and downs against the elite clubs in the tournament. Guardiola has yet to lead his side to an away victory after the group stage. Bayern has been eliminated in the semifinals in each of his two years with the team. However, Bayern has racked up some impressive home victories and they are playing much more balanced soccer compared to years past. Although the odds are against them, the treble is entirely possible for Bayern to achieve.
2) They Will Be Quiet In The Winter Transfer Market, Active In The Summer
The only place where Bayern Munich could use some reinforcement is central defense. However, there are slim pickings and an inflated market for players in those positions, making it unlikely that the Germans will make a high-profile signing anytime soon.
This summer, Ancelotti will inherit a world-class team with outstanding starters and depth. The Bayern Munich roster is rivaled by very few teams. Despite this, it is possible that Bayern will still look to make some changes this season.
There are players that will need replacing. For one, the club cannot afford to pay Franck Ribery his €160,000-a-week wages if he only plays occasionally. If they are able to move Ribery, the team will have room for another big-name star. Furthermore, Philipp Lahm and Arjen Robben are both pushing 32 years of age. Considerations will need to be made to build the team for the future.
3) Kingsley Coman Will Be A Starter By End Of The Year
Kingsley Coman has been the pleasant surprise of the summer transfer window. The 19-year-old has had a remarkable first semester at Bayern. He has confidently stepped into the first team and provided valuable minutes. The sky’s the limit for Coman. There is a good chance that he will even earn a starting role in the Bayern lineup by the end of 2016. When you consider the fact that Arjen Robben is weeks away from his 33rd birthday, an age when few wingers are still at their best, it is likely that Coman will find himself with more responsibility. Robben certainly has a couple of great seasons left in him, but at the end of the day, Coman is likely to be a future staple of the Bayern starting lineup.