Bayern Munich has a large number of players that are either in their 30s late 20s. Last summer, they lost veterans David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, and Javi Martinez and a day will soon come where they’ll have to say goodbye to equally as important veteran players. As it stands, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Robert Lewandowski, Sven Ulreich, and Bouna Sarr are all already in their 30s. Muller has signed a one-year contract extension and Neuer is expected to do the same very soon, but the same can’t be said for the rest of those players. Most importantly, Lewandowski’s future hangs in the balance and he could be leaving the club my next summer.
In a recent interview with Sport Bild (via Sports Buzzer), Michael Ballack said the he sees Bayern’s aging squad as a point of concern. He did admit that he doesn’t think Bayern’s domestic dominance in the Bundesliga won’t start to wane any time soon, but knows the replacing some of their aging stars will be a difficult task.
“Thomas Müller has now been extended. What’s next for Manuel Neuer? The Robert Lewandowski situation is also on the table,” Ballack explained. They are aging players, they don’t have to be a problem – but could be in the near future – because most of the time a player loses some quality as they get older. On the other hand, the importance and position of these players shouldn’t underestimated. They were and are important for the structure and hierarchy of the team,” he continued.
Arguably, we’ve seen in Bayern’s defense just how much it has been impacted by losing both Alaba and Boateng last summer. When Bayern eventually loses Muller, Neuer, and Lewandowski, there will be somewhat of a void in three, separate positions for players that have been immensely integral to Bayern’s success through the years. In Jamal Musiala, there is already an eventual replacement for Muller, but the same can’t really be said for eventual Neuer or Lewandowski replacements.
Reports this week suggested that Lewandowski was refusing to sign a contract extension at Bayern, but said reports are speculative at best at this juncture. His contract runs through this summer and Bayern’s front office is adamant he will honor his full contract regardless of if he agrees to an extension or prefers an eventual move to Barcelona. It’s Ballack’s hope that Bayern is able to figure out how to get him to agree on an extension because he’s “a player who can still play at the current level technically and physically for some time. When it comes to the quality of the squad, Lewandowski is definitely one of the key players.”