Bayern Munich undoubtedly enters the summer transfer window with work to do on the business side. Despite winning the club’s 11th consecutive Bundesliga title, the early exits in both the Champions League and the German Pokal suggest that Bayern Munich needs to look for additions to strengthen the side.
Having already secured the services of Konrad Laimer on a free transfer from RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich look poised to once again raid a Bundesliga rival for talent. With reports indicating that Bayern are in the final stages of completing a deal with former Dortmund player Raphael Guerreiro, the talented Portuguese left-back looks to reunite with Thomas Tuchel on a three-year deal. Since Guerreiro’s contract expires this summer, this is another shrewd move by the Bayern front office in avoiding a transfer fee for a quality player.
As Joao Cancelo’s time in the Bavarian capital comes to an end following his loan spell from Manchester City, and Lucas Hernandez’s current situation is up in the air, the addition of Guerreiro now takes on even more importance. Below are some of the traits that the 29-year-old Portuguese will bring to the Bundesliga champions.
Raphael Guerreiro brings with him 163 appearances in the German top flight and 40 appearances in the Champions League after signing with Dortmund in 2016. During his time with Dortmund, Guerreiro won two German Pokals and one German Super Cup.
Before leaving Dortmund, only Marco Reus had been at the club longer than Guerreiro. Additionally, the left-footed player has 62 caps with the Portuguese national side since making his debut at the age of 20. Guerrero was with the side when they claimed the 2016 European Championship and the 2019 UEFA Nations League title.
Being ever present in both the Bundesliga and with his national side, Guerreiro comes to Munich with experience in both big competitions and important games. Bayern Munich is getting a player that is used to winning trophies.
While starting his Bundesliga journey as an attack-minded left-back, Guerreiro has grown into a player capable of putting his stamp on the game in numerous positions. Capable of playing your typical attacking left-back position, with outstanding delivery and creativity from his left foot, he also possesses experience as a wingback if Thomas Tuchel elects to play out of a back three setup.
This past season saw Guerreiro expand his game even more and move central into a more attack-minded midfield role for Dortmund (6 appearances central) and was successful enough in that position to draw strong reviews from Dortmund manager Edin Terzic in March (via Bundesliga Fan):
"“Rapha has often been used as a left-back in recent years. But we know he can also make good decisions in the midfield. He always gets into positions in the half spaces where he always finds solutions. We wanted to have a lot of ball-secure players in the centre on Saturday. He played a good game, we want to keep that open for the future as well.”"
Guerreiro’s positional flexibility will allow Thomas Tuchel the ability to utilize Guerrero’s attacking strengths and also find ways to involve the Portuguese creator within the side.
While Raphael Guerreiro may not be the most astute defender in the Bundesliga, he does possess an attacking presence as he netted five goals and provided 12 assists in the 22/23 Bundesliga season. His attacking prowess ranks him in the 90th or higher percentile for fullbacks (Stats considered: Non-Penalty Goals, Total Shots, Assists, Expected Assist Goals, Passes Attempted, and Progressive Passes) according to FBRef.
With his 12 assists, Guerreiro leads all fullbacks in assists per 90 mins with .39. The Portuguese full-back also provides a threat from set-pieces. In taking 39 corners for Dortmund and 54 free kicks, he became a regular in taking control of set pieces for the Bundesliga runner-ups.
With Lucas Hernandez out for the second half of the Bundesliga season following his knee injury, Bayern Munich turned to Joao Cancelo to add much-needed depth and competition to the left-back position. The addition of Guerreiro should be seen as a similar move to not only give cover to Alphonso Davies but also challenge for minutes moving forward.
Using Squawka’s 90 min comparison matrix, Guerreiro shows that he is more adept at delivering from wide areas and creating opportunities for others than Davies (Stats Considered: Assists, Shots, Chances created, Crosses Attempted, Successful Crosses in Open Play, and Forward Passes.).
While Raphael Guerreiro is good at delivering crosses from wider areas, Davies is a much stronger 1v1 player with the ball at his feet (Stats Considered: Take-Ons Completed, Ground Duels Contested, and Ground Duel Success %), which should come as no surprise given Davies youth development as a winger before switching to the left-back position.
Given the differences in both Davies and Guerreiro’s playing ability, Bayern has added a player of different qualities than their starting left back. Guerreiro’s move should add healthy (HOPEFULLY) competition and allow for a difference of play for Tuchel’s left side.
With Thomas Tuchel bringing his former Chelsea assistant, Anthony Barry, with him to Munich, Tuchel is hoping to bring additional production from set pieces. Tuchel commented on Barry during his time in London (via Evening Standard):
"“I feel he’s very comfortable on the pitch when handling exercises and he’s a specialist with set-pieces so he does the video session and the training.”"
Having a left-footed specialist like Guerreiro will definitely add another dimension to the team’s set-piece situation, and possibly challenge Kimmich for corner duties when on the field.
Want your voice heard? Join the Bayern Strikes team!
Raphael Guerreiro will fit nicely into the side having already played the majority of his career in the Bundesliga and being used to Thomas Tuchel from his time in Dortmund. Given his tactical versatility and production, Tuchel should be excited about the possibilities presented to him by the Portuguese left-footed creator. Bayern fans will surely love to see him representing The Reds instead of the Black and Yellows when the 23/24 season kicks off!