Courtesy of a poor end to the summer transfer window, Bayern Munich were left short in the defensive department. They have often faced injury crises in the central defense during Hinrunde due to a lack of senior options. It is no surprise that the priority for Bayern is to strengthen the defense when the transfer window opens in January.
The departure of Benjamin Pavard left a void in the squad. The French defender provided great solidity in the right-back and central defense. Along with not replacing Pavard, Bayern also loaned out Josip Stanisic to Bayer Leverkusen. The Croatian would have been a handy option for Tuchel during Hinrunde in several defensive positions.
Stanisic did well for Bayern in the last two seasons whenever he was called upon. His most impressive performance came in the 2-0 win against Paris Saint-Germain at Allianz Arena during last season’s round of 16 clash in the Champions League. It does look like Tuchel and Bayern felt Stanisic needed to play regularly next season, which eventually led to a loan move to Bayer Leverkusen.
There has been talk of Stanisic returning to Bayern in January, but Bayer Leverkusen are eager to keep him, and there is no break clause in the loan deal. While talking to Web.de last week, Josip Stanisic confirmed that he will be returning to Bayern in the summer, and there is no possibility of returning in January.
""I was loaned out for this season without an option. That's why I'm going back to Bayern, of course. But you never know what will happen in the summer. I'm not even thinking about it. I'm here now, I want to do my thing here, play as much as possible, help the team and also develop on a personal level. We'll see what happens in the summer.""- Josip Stanisic
Stanisic has not regularly featured for Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga. His majority of game time this campaign has come in the Europa League. The Croatian defender is hopeful about playing more regularly sooner rather than later. With Leverkusen losing a few defenders to the AFCON in January, Stanisic’s game time is expected to get better at the start of Ruckrunde.
Bayern will hope that Stanisic will return to the squad in the summer after getting significant playing time at Leverkusen. The Croatian defender is a really handy player to have in the squad due to his versatility. Moreover, he has a good temperament, which is needed to play for one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
For the time being, Bayern will look for a new defender when the winter transfer window opens in January. Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo is reportedly the top target for Bayern, but the Spanish club is unlikely to entertain any offers for their star defender in January.
The Bavarian club will have to explore other options if they plan to sign Araujo in the summer. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they get someone on loan for the rest of the season and pursue their top defensive targets in the summer. With this plan, they will also get a chance to assess Stanisic when he returns to Munich at the end of the season.