Bayern Munich had all bases covered in defense midway through the summer transfer window. They had signed Kim Min-jae from Napoli to replace Lucas Hernandez in the squad, while Raphael Guerreiro arrived on a free transfer to replace Joao Cancelo. There was a lot of quality and depth across all positions in the back four at Bayern.
However, things changed drastically for the defensive department at Bayern in the final weeks of the transfer window. Benjamin Pavard completed a permanent move to Inter Milan, while Josip Stanisic joined Bayer Leverkusen on a season-long loan deal. Die Roten tried to sign Trevoh Chalobah and Armel Bella-Kotchap, but both transfers collapsed on the deadline day.
The Bundesliga champions were proactively looking for Pavard’s replacement at the start of the window. They had verbally agreed a deal with Manchester City full-back Kyle Walker, but talks with the English club never moved in the right direction.
Walker signed a two-year deal with the European champions on Thursday. While talking to BBC during the international break, Walker admitted that talks with Bayern took place in the summer. The guarantee of playing time and a new contract changed Walker’s mind.
"“Decisions can be made, things can turn. It was close but in football things can happen. It wasn’t meant to be. Would I have enjoyed the experience? Of course I would, but this is a great club and you can’t underestimate what this club has done in the last six or seven years.”“It was about who gave me the most years. It wasn’t like I was going to a worse club because Bayern Munich is a massive club and seeing what Kane is doing there and will do, it wasn’t a step down.”"
Pep Guardiola was eager to keep Walker at Manchester City due to his presence on and off the pitch. The English defender has been rewarded for his performances over the last season when Manchester City won a treble with a new contract.
Walker would have been a perfect short-term replacement for Pavard. He is an excellent right-back. Moreover, he also has experience of playing in the center-back position for England in a back-three system. The English defender would have brought leadership and a winning mentality to Bayern’s squad.
Nevertheless, Die Roten will have to look for Pavard’s replacement in January. They may go back for Chalobah since Chelsea is ready to sell the English defender. Bella-Kotchap may not be an option in January since he moved to PSV Eindhoven on a season-long deal in the final hours of the deadline day.
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Tuchel will have to rely on Konrad Laimer to play as the backup right-back until the winter transfer window. The German coach will hope that all three center-backs remain fit for the rest of the Hinrunde. He may have to use youngster Tarek Buchmann in central defense. The German coach will also hope that there is no injury in the midfield department since the squad is light in central midfield after the departure of Ryan Gravenberch. The Bavarian club tried to sign Joao Palhinha on deadline day, but Fulham didn’t sanction the deal after failing to get a replacement.