Bayern Munich have been dealt a blow one week into the season, with reports indicating that star forward Jamal Musiala is set to miss two to three weeks after sustaining a torn muscle fiber in his left thigh during training on Wednesday. Musiala will not be available for selection on Sunday when Bayern face Augsburg at Allianz Arena.
The report in BILD indicates that there is still some uncertainty on the severity of the tear, and that will determine how long the forward is sidelined. The one saving grace for Bayern is the schedule. After the home match against Augsburg this weekend and the trip to Borussia Mönchengladbach on the 2nd of September, there is a conveniently placed international break.
It’s unclear whether Musiala will be available to Hansi Flick for the friendlies against Japan and France, but all indications point to him being available for the visit of Bayer Leverkusen on the 16th of September, barring any setbacks in his recovery.
Musiala started well in Bayern’s 4-0 thumping of Werder Bremen on the opening day of the season playing in the hole behind new number nine Harry Kane. His ability with the ball at his feet and tendency to glide past players opened up the field for Bayern and had the Bremen players clutching at the air.
Who will replace Musiala in Bayern’s starting lineup?
Musiala has a very unique skillset and he’ll be missed over the next few weeks as he recovers, but Bayern has the strength in depth to ride short-term injuries. The obvious replacement for Musiala is the man who replaced him in the 84th minute against Bremen, Thomas Muller.
The Bayern legend who has made over 400 appearances for Die Roten showed that even at 33, he still has the quality to open up Bundesliga defenses. Despite being on the field for just 12 minutes, Muller created two big chances and assisted Leroy Sane’s second goal with an intelligent give-and-go.
If Thomas Tuchel prefers to keep Muller as an impact substitute, the Die Roten coach could elect to play Mathys Tel alongside Harry Kane, it would be a change in formation but would represent an explosive attacking option.
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Another option for Tuchel is to play Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting as a shadow striker just behind Kane. It’s not a position he’s overly familiar with but considering his skillset he could certainly do a good job there if needed. The final option is to push Leon Goretzka a little further up the pitch and bring in either Ryan Gravenbach or Konrad Laimer.
It’s a blow to Bayern to lose one of the most exciting talents in world football, but considering the squad they have, they’re well situated to see this short-term injury out.