Jérôme Boateng trains at FC Bayern Munich and may be expected to strengthen the defense. In addition to the sporting component, there are concerns among fans as to whether Boateng is in question because of his behavior off the pitch.
The defensive problems at FC Bayern are obvious. The defensive line of the German record champions seems anything but solid. Also at 2:2 at RB Leipzig Min-jae Kim, Dayot Upamecano & Co. conceded easy goals.
“If they don’t get their defensive problems under control, it will be a tough season,” said Markus Babbel, a former FC Bayern player in Blickpunkt Sport on BR television. Long-time FC Bayern assistant coach Hermann Gerland also sees the shaky defense as their Achilles’ heel: “They already have problems at the back, the season is long.”
Speculation about Jérôme Boateng
Since this weekend, speculation has become even more lively as to whether FC Bayern will step up their defensive ranks again – because an illustrious training guest showed up: Jérôme Boateng, nine-time German champion, two-time treble winner with Munich and 2014 world champion.
Boateng played in Munich from 2011 to 2021, then went to Olympique Lyon and went downhill there in terms of sport. Most recently, his contract was not extended; Boateng is currently without a club – and could therefore be signed directly. One catch: How fit is Boateng?
Gerland: “Boateng played sensationally”
If Gerland has his way, this is the central – and only – question that FC Bayern has to ask itself before a possible commitment. Otherwise, the long-time FC Bayern coach is still convinced of the now 35-year-old Boateng, “when he is in first-class condition. (…) He was a first-class player and played sensationally. If he is at that level, As I know him, he can help Bayern Munich.”
But in addition to the sporting component, there are major concerns, especially from fans, as to whether Boateng is even considered as an FC Bayern player because of his behavior outside the football field. The Bavarian Supreme Court recently overturned Boateng’s conviction for assault and insult – due to formal errors. The 35-year-old was sentenced to a total of 1.2 million euros in fines last November for attacks on his ex-girlfriend. The process will now be rolled out again.
If sports director Christoph Freund has his way, the proceedings against Boateng don’t matter. The assault case is “currently suspended, and that’s why it’s his private story and not a big issue for us.” “The presumption of innocence” applies. The goal is to decide on the 35-year-old’s return to FC Bayern by the end of the week.
Babbel: Thin staffing levels not “Bayern-like”
Regardless of Boateng’s personality, there was also plenty of criticism of FC Bayern in the last transfer period. “They’ve lined themselves up too thinly,” Babbel complained: “You had enough time to put together an optimal squad. That’s disappointing, that’s not Bayern-like. Normally they always have this foresight.”
Will Max Eberl come as a new reinforcement?
All the more exciting: While FC Bayern’s defensive problems are being debated – and a supposedly weak transfer policy – a new name, Max Eberl, is emerging as a possible sports director. Eberl was surprisingly suspended from RB Leipzig; the Munich native is considered a good friend of FC Bayern honorary president Uli Hoeneß.
Eberl to FC Bayern, Babbel and Gerland agree, would be exactly the right man to prevent such problems as the thin defense staffing level from arising.
“It would make total sense to me,” said Babbel: “Max has worked his way up to one of the top managers in the Bundesliga over the decades. He’s from Munich and played for this club. It would be the logical step if Bayern took him too wants.” Gerland added briefly: “I have nothing to add. He has great abilities and has proven that over decades in Gladbach and in a short time in Leipzig too.”