Mario Mandzukic today released a press statement signalling his intent to leave current Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
The are a number of reasons for him wanting to leave, with the playing style under Pep Guardiola and the arrival of Robert Lewandowski from Borussia Dortmund high up on his list. So where will he be playing next season?
He had a prolific period with the German champions, scoring 48 goals in 88 appearances over his two seasons at the club, and was the main man under Jupp Heynckes - the faith shown in Mandzukic paved the way for Mario Gomez’s transfer to Fiorentina. Gomez himself was highly regarded at Munich, having scored 113 goals in 174, and the Munich fans were shocked when the club allowed him to leave.
So the question is if Mandzukic is as good as his record shows then why would Bayern allow him to leave? The Croatian himself said that the playing style under Guardiola doesn’t suit him and that he has struggled to perform to the best of his abilities, this is not the first time such a situation like this has arisen under the Spaniard.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a similar complaint after his move to AC Milan from Barcelona. At the time Guardiola favoured a 4-3-3 false nine formation, with Lionel Messi as the man to spearhead the attack, which forced Ibrahimovic to play as a winger for the majority of his time there.
Another issue Mandzukic is facing is the imminent arrival of Lewandowski. Since the departure of Gomez he has been the main striker, and the arrival of another top forward could seriously limit his playing time. A shrewd piece of business by the German champions meant they managed to sign one of the most revered strikers in world football on a free transfer, and so it doesn't bode well for Mandzukic.
As a player the Croatian feeds on deliveries; battling defenders is his specialty. However the possession based “Tika-Taka” style football Guardiola prefers is no place for a striker that thrives on crosses and long balls.
Mandzukic has made clear of his intention to leave Munich and there are a number of clubs across Europe that are in need of a quality striker. Will we see him in the Premier League next season?
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