Bayern finished three straight draws in the Bundesliga vs Borussia Mönchengladbach, Union Berlin and VfB Stuttgart. However, Bayern Munich don’t lack goals since Robert Lewandowski signed for FC Barcelona during the summer transfer window. Moreover, in the Bundesliga, the team from Bavaria scored a league-high of 19 goals. But the main issue so far for Julian Nagelsmann’s side is that they’re conceding far more goals than they’d like. Furthermore, they only kept two clean sheets from their opening six matches in the league.
Defensive issues aside, Bayern’s attack this season without a natural number 9 striker is still very dangerous. Former RB Leipzig manager Domenico Tedesco described Bayern’s new-look attack as trying to dodge arrows from multiple directions at once. Nagelsmann also emphasized in the past that it is much harder to defend four or five fluidly interchanging players that can run at you and score goals in attack than it would be to zero in on one target man, like Lewandowski.
Younger squad than last season
Of course, in addition to Noussair Mazraoui, Ryan Gravenberch, Sadio Mané and Matthijs de Ligt, Bayern did bring in Mathys Tel (a striker prospect) this summer. He became Bayern’s youngest ever Bundesliga goal scorer with his strike in the 2-2 draw with Stuttgart. Tel was only in the lineup for rotational reasons; Nagelsmann wanted to ensure he would have his best possible eleven available for the FC Barcelona visit tonight. However, Tel may define Bayern’s future up front.
In his press conference ahead of the Stuttgart match, Nagelsmann also reiterated that there wasn’t a like-for-like replacement for Lewandowski in the transfer market. “There weren’t many strikers on the market that would’ve helped us. I never played with a classic striker in my career before Lewy, and that worked too. If we had found a top #9 we would have thought about it. But we already scored enough goals,” he explained (via @iMiaSanMia).
Bottom line is that for the first time in many years, Lewandowski is not part of Bayern Munich. But it doesn’t mean that Bayern isn’t a team that can be very dangerous.