Despite already having one of the world's foremost squads, Bayern Munich have added three players to their roster this summer, much to the surprise of a number of people.
It is no wonder that Bayern signed Mario Goetze, perhaps the brightest star of young European talent, yet the only concern comes in how he can fit in with the rest of the squad. To add to this, Thiago Alcantara has joined Die Roten over the summer transfer window as well, which means there is yet another quality midfielder deserving of a starting berth in the squad.
Who should start, who will be key, what should the formation be? These are all questions which have been asked, and here is the answer - using Pep Guardiola's pre-season 4-1-4-1 formation:
Goalkeeper - Manuel Neuer
This spot is unquestionable and not worth discussing. The best goalkeeper at Bayern and perhaps in the world, Neuer's place is a given.
Right Back - Phillipp Lahm
Generally agreed to be the best full back in the world, Lahm's consistent class in attack and defence mean there is no doubt as to his place.
Centre Back - Dante
An eyebrow raising signing last year, Dante has proven himself to be one of the best defenders in Europe and his composure is a must for the Bayern back line.
Centre Back - Jerome Boateng
With Holger Badstuber suffering from a serious injury, and Daniel van Buyten probably too old for a regular place, Boateng is the right choice. Jan Kirchoff has come in, but he should play second fiddle to Boateng, who showed remarkable improvements the past season.
Left Back - David Alaba
Originally a central midfielder, his ball playing skills are evident in his position. With Diego Contento the only competition, Alaba must start here, and there are few teams in the world which would not do so. His pace, skill and raw talent are devastating.
Holding Midfielder - Javi Martinez
Last year he formed a dominating partnership with Bastian Schweinsteiger, however with the new 4-1-4-1 he cannot play as attacking a role as Schweinsteiger, so must be the one to take the more defensive role. He can protect the back line and break up opponent possession while still playing the ball like few other world midfielders.
Central Midfielder - Bastian Schweinsteiger
A Bayern Munich legend and keystone of their successes in past years, "Schweini" has quality for all to see. He can dictate the tempo of the game and cannot be challenged by other players in the team, no matter how good they are.
Central Midfielder - Toni Kroos
Before the groin injury which ended his season, Kroos was showing unbelievable maturity and ability, and to replace him with a new boy such as Thiago or Goetze would be unfair, and though they could work their way ahead of him as the season goes on, Kroos must be given the benefit of the doubt to begin with.
Right Wing - Arjen Robben
After a dip in form, the Flying Dutchman came roaring back onto the scene, with game winning performances against Dortmund twice (in the German Cup and Champions League) and Barcelona twice. His football ability is undoubted, and his transformation under Jupp Heynckes into a team-playing, back-tracking winger makes him worth his weight in gold for Guardiola.
Left Wing - Franck Ribery
Building on two solid seasons after injuries had held him back, Ribery showed himself to be one of the world's best players. He frightened right backs everywhere with pace, trickery, and experience making him a definite.
Centre Forward - Thomas Mueller
Despite his preference for a deeper role, this one at the front of the team will be a deeper one than most strikers play. Mario Mandzukic has an unparalleled work rate and can score goals, but Mueller cannot be overlooked and has to be a frontrunner in the squad.
Pep Guardiola has some tough decisions to make, and whatever he does, he will have to ensure he can maintain the harmony among the whole team in order to achieve what the club wants.
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