Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić is one of the more polarizing figures with the Rekordmeister.
With some great moves under his belt and some imminently forgettable transfers on his record as well, the quality of the sporting director is one of the most argued subjects in the fanbase.
People either seem to love him…or hate him, with very few opinions in between, so we set off to examine why there was such a divide. We looked at acquisitions and what they cost.
Since squad planning has been a topic, the grades are strictly on how the signings impacted the roster (did he fit?), the club budget (was he worth the money?), and the payroll (where did he fall within the team’s salary structure). Because players sales are driven by the players and agents, we did not factor that too much into this assessment (unless it was a player who he acquired and then flipped). 95% of the assessment was based on talent identification and how players fit into the team (in both performance and financially).
We also did not hold Salihamidžić accountable for coaching moves as that seems to take a village to determine who gets hired at Bayern Munich.
As a disclaimer, we used Transfermarkt’s timeline of transfers and information for the timestamp of the transfers and monetary figures. Without further ado, let’s take a look…
- Serge Gnabry — €8 million: Brilliant signing for a player who — while inconsistent at times — has overall been very good for the club and won a sextuple. Rating: 9.5/10.0.
- Kingsley Coman — €21 million: A foregone conclusion, this move (acquisition after loan from Juventus) was far into the process of being completed before Salihamidžić took over. Still, he ultimately gets credit for closing the deal. Coman scored a Champions League-winning goal and has been a consistent disruptive threat since really taking on a major role during the 2019/20 season. Rating: 9.5/10.
- Niklas Süle — €20 million: Looked like a foundational talent with his size and speed and had a very good career in Munich before he decided that he wanted to leave. Ultimately, Süle left Bayern Munich on a mismanaged free transfer to Borussia Dortmund, but he was still a great signing. Rating: 8.5/10.0.
- James Rodriguez — €13 million (loan fee): Incredibly talented, but also a serial malcontent during his time in Munich. Never attempted to assimilate into the team or embrace his new environment. A tone-deaf loan driven by Carlo Ancelotti’s previous relationship with the player. Was not nearly worth the drama he created. Rating: 5.5/10.0.
- Corentin Tolisso — €41.5 million: A dynamic talent, but a surplus signing at an extremely high price for a position that was not in dire need, and who never really had a clear pathway to a starting role. Injuries also derailed career, which is a shame. Rating: 5.0/10.0.
- Sebastian Rudy — Free transfer: A good player at the time, but one who had almost no chance of getting on to the pitch thanks to a massive logjam in the midfield. As a free transfer, however, he was a good gamble based on value. Rating: 3.0/10.0.
- Sandro Wagner — €13 million: Bayern Munich needed a back-up striker and Wagner was ready to fill the role (at least for a little while before he realized sitting on the bench stinks). More of a smart move than a good move. Rating: 4.0/10.0.
Overall Score: 6.4/10.0
- Alphonso Davies — €14 million: That fee seems like a steal — and it was. Davies made the move to left-back, asserted himself into the role, and has never looked back. While the last two seasons were not great, Davies has otherworldly ability and — at a minimum — a ton of value on the transfer market. Rating: 10.0/10.0
- Leon Goretzka — Free transfer: A terrific move for a box-to-box threat, who would play a major role in helping the club win a sextuple. Initially, it was unclear if Goretzka would breakthrough the crowded Bayern Munich midfield, but his dynamic presence in getting up and down the field made it a matter of time until he wrapped up a starting role. Rating: 10.0/10.0.
Overall score: 10.0/10.0
Lucas Hernández — €80 million: A ballyhooed record-transfer from Atlético Madrid who has lived up to the hype. While injuries are a persistent issue, it is hard to argue against Hernandez being worth the money. Rating: 9.0/10.0.
Benjamin Pavard — €35 million: A good, versatile signing. Originally, Pavard was brought in to be a center-back, but he eased into the right-back position for most of his tenure. While he had his detractors during his time with Bayern Munich, he ultimately was a very good signing. Pavard could end up leaving this summer — in an effort to play center-back consistently. Rating: 8.5/10.0.
Philippe Coutinho — €8.50 (loan fee): Coutinho initially came in and took time away from Thomas Müller, which ultimately ended up expediting Niko Kovac’s sacking, but he did morph into a very valuable bench/role player once he was taken out of the starting lineup. For the low fee, it was a good move, but he did not permanently knock Müller out of the starting XI permanently like many expected. Rating: 7.0/10.0.
Michaël Cuisance — €8 million: A complete bust with a bad attitude. He did, however, rip off a few cool stepovers during one appearance. #StepOverKing. Rating: 1.0/10.0.
Ivan Perišić — €5 million (loan fee): The perfect January pickup and was worth every euro. Rating: 10.0/10.0.
Fiete Arp — €3 million: This one hurts. RIP #ArpTrain. While injuries, illness, and some bad luck pushed him off the rails, Arp could not find a way to recapture the magic that made Bayern Munich want him in the first place. We’ll always have his preseason destruction of Marcelo and his goal against Tottenham Hotspur in a friendly, I guess. Rating: 1.0/10.0.
Álvaro Odriozola — Free loan: A legend, but not one who really played any type of role in helping the team win a treble. He’s a legend nonetheless (just not a highly-rated one). Rating: 2.5/10.0.
Overall score: 5.4/10.0
Leroy Sané — €49 million: A dynamic talent l, who was coming off of a long-term knee injury, it took Sané some time to adjust to Hansi Flick and also to Bayern Munich. Overall, he has been very good, but not the next generation Franck Ribery like many expected. The disagreement between the coaching staff and personnel department during this transfer saga also played a role in putting a divide between Hansi Flick and Salihamidžić. Rating: 8.5/10.0.
Marc Roca — €9 million: A good idea, but was not fast enough or really good enough to unseat anyone in the Bayern Munich rotation for playing time. Rating: 3.5/10.0.
Bouna Sarr — €8 million: A well-paid albatross, who will never get off of the bench. To his credit, he is just collecting his money and not complaining. Rating: 1.0/10.0.
Douglas Costa — €250 thousand: A bad idea and total mess. The perfect example of trying to run it back one too many times. Rating: 1.0/10.0.
Alexander Nübel — Free transfer: A great idea, but it also seemed to upset and alienate Neuer. Nübel ultimately had to be sent away on a loan to AS Monaco. His performances do not show that he is quite the “Next Gen Neuer” that many wanted. A smart move because he was free, but there was no practical way for him to play (or be happy), which ends making this move make little sense for the player or from a squad planning perspective. Rating: 5.0/10.0.
Tanguy Nianzou — Free transfer: Great value, but an overrated talent. Was not good enough to lockdown a spot in the rotation and thought he was way better than he really was. He did bring back a nice transfer fee, though. Rating: 4.0/10.0.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting — Free transfer: The consummate backup and a good locker room guy. This was an astute acquisition. Rating: 8.0/10.0.
Tiago Dantas — €8 million: Complete bust who was not big enough, fast enough, or good enough to even make an impact for Bayern II. Rating: 1.0/10.0.
Overall score: 4.3/10.0
Dayot Upamecano — €42.5: A fair price for a good player. Upamecano has been mostly good, but has had some brutal performances during his tenure. Overall, he has been very solid, but was he a necessary purchase? That is a big question given who Bayern Munich already had on its roster (Hernandez, Pavard, Süle) when it bought the former RB Leipzig man. You could argue that this was a good move, but maybe not a totally necessary move. Rating: 8.0/10.0.
Marcel Sabitzer — €15 million: A trainwreck in his first season, Sabitzer was great in the Hinrunde during this campaign before being loaned out to Manchester United, where he was terrific. His quality was rarely in doubt, but it seems he might have been oversold on what his role would be last season, which contributed to a very uneven 2021/22 season. Again, this move might have been unnecessary even if Sabitzer is a good player. Rating: 6.0/10.0.
Omar Richards — Free transfer: There was very little chance that Richards was every going to get much playing time and it was a shortsighted move by both parties. Bayern Munich made €8.5 million by selling him, so I guess it was worth it? Either way, it was not a great fit for the roster or for Richards’ own development. Rating: 4.0/10.0.
Sven Ulreich — Free transfer: A good locker room guy, who Manuel Neuer prefers to work with. He was ready to throw hands a few weeks ago. As a free transfer, Ulreich has done what was expected of him (be a good guy, support Neuer). Rating: 7.0/10.0.
Overall score: 6.3/10.0
Matthijs de Ligt — €67 million: Just a brilliant move. After a slow start (thanks to Juventus’ non-existent fitness program…#FreeVlahovic!), De Ligt has been an absolute powerhouse at center-back. A natural leader and a long-time target for Bayern Munich, De Ligt has checked every box. Rating: 10.0/10.0.
Sadio Mané — €32 million: Well, he has underperformed on the pitch, had issues off of it (locker room altercation with Julian Nagelsmann, slapped Sané), and generally might not be that happy, go lucky guy who is a “team first” player. Bayern Munich tried to put lipstick on a pig after whiffing on Erling Haaland and failing to retain Robert Lewandowski. Mané was never going to be able to fill the void at striker and is maybe the fifth-best wing on the squad at this stage of his career. So far…this move is a mess. Rating: 5.0/10.0.
Mathys Tel — €20 million: It sure seemed like a big gamble (and still might prove to have been too much of a risk), but for now, Tel looks like a steal for that price. He’s so young that he can either explode into a star or stagnate with his development at the club if no playing time opens up. Either way, it’s win at this stage. Rating: 9.0/10.0.
Ryan Gravenberch — €18.5 million: Buying a young player at a good value made perfect sense. However, something went awry with the playing time expectations and Gravenberch is not quite as finished a product as some expected. Gravenberch’s public complaints were an unnecessary distraction as well. He could very well prove to be worth all the trouble, but it seems like he is more likely to leave this summer. Rating: 5.0/10.0.
Noussair Mazraoui — free transfer: Another very solid signing that could prove to be an excellent move for the long-term. While there are rumors he is so unhappy with his playing time that he might want to leave, Mazraoui has shown he has the chops to be a strong contributor at Bayern Munich. Can he lock down a starting role long-term? Maybe…he is certainly on his way to proving just that. Given that he is a free transfer, his rating definitely gets bumped up a bit even if he does try to push his way out the door this summer. Rating 9.0/10.0
Yann Sommer — €8.00 million: There was no better pickup to be made when Neuer broke his leg. Despite what some pundits might think, even Neuer — and his superior positioning — probably was not pushing this team past Manchester City. Rating 8.5/10.0
Daley Blind — free transfer: Nothing more than depth (really, really deep) signing. Not much was expected, not much was achieved. He will likely roll out after the season. Rating: 3.0/10.0.
João Cancelo — fee unknown (if any) on loan: With Noussair Mazraoui battling a COVID-related ailment, Salihamidžić was in a desperate spot and made a good move by all accounts. Cancelo might not be the best teammate (left a celebration because he didn’t play much), but he filled the role that was required. Rating 8.5/10.0
Overall score: 7.3/10.0
Overall, I had Salihamidžić at a total average of 6.6/10.0 for his sporting director career. is that good? Is it bad? I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Right now, I think it is safe to say that Salihamidžić hit quite a few homeruns, struck out quite a few times, and had a heck of a lot of foul balls in between.
Overrated? Underrated? My opinion is that he has been…decent. So if you feel like he has been okay, but not overwhelmingly good, you are siding with me, but surely there are legions that are on both sides of us riding it down the middle.
Tell us what you think?
Is Bayern Munich overrated, underrated, or properly rated as being “good, but not great”?
Properly rated as “good, but not great”
0 votes total
Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 2, Episode 45
Another week, another set of Bayern Munich stories to discuss.
The Bavarians stomped Schalke 04 last weekend and we saw some plans for the 2023/24 leaked out this week as well. Knowing all of that, there is plenty to discuss. Let’s take a look at what is on tap for this edition of the Weekend Warm-up Podcast:
- A look at the rumors regarding Joshua Kimmich’s rumored position change, his power at Bayern Munich, and the interesting timing of the transfer rumors linking him to Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, and Manchester City. What does this all mean for Leon Goretzka’s future with the club?
- Will Bayern Munich move on Ajax’s Edson Alvarez? What about Chelsea’s Mason Mount and Kai Havertz? Or maybe…West Ham’s Declan Rice? Finally, the latest on Bayern’s interest in Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani.
- Some thoughts on the title race and the implications of this weekend.
- Should Sadio Mané stay or go? Manchester United, Chelsea FC, Newcastle United, and Juventus might be interested…but he could want to stay.
Song of the Week: “And We Danced” by The Hooters
You guys might slam me for this, but “We’ll do it live….F*** it!”
Let’s give some love to The Hooters — yes, Philadelphia’s own sensation. I know many of you were not around in the 80s (insert cry face emoji), but this was an absolute banger.
This was released in May of 1985 when I was just a wee lad of 9 and I was hooked. Sure, it helped that they were from Philly, but this song has withstood the test of time to me. I hope you open your mind and enjoy it:
Bavarian Podcast Works: Preview Show — Bayern Munich vs RB Leipzig
With Borussia Dortmund only one point behind Bayern Munich with two games left to play, RB Leipzig are the last team the Bavarians want to face. The Lawnball-based side have not been having a great season this year, but they will be looking for a win to secure Champions League qualification for next season. This is a game that could decide the title race.
Here are our talking points ahead of the game:
- Who’s in and who’s out in the lineup?
- Thomas Muller should obviously start.
- A case for Leroy Sane on the right hand side, and Musiala on the left.
- Heresy for some: Maybe give Leon Goretzka a chance.
- Why does Joshua Kimmich get everything he wants?
- Why Dayot Upamecano will have a tough time getting his spot back.
- Thomas Tuchel could field a 4-1-4-1 again — is that a good idea?
Bayern Munich is in a really dangerous spot against a hungry and eager RB Leipzig team, who also needs three points. Bayern Munich is the better team and should be able to hold off a hard charge from Die Roten Bullen, but it will not be easy. The homefield advantage should account for something here as well. I think it will tight the whole way and Bayern Munich will score a late goal to push things over the line.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-1 RB Leipzig
Other Bundesliga Match Day 28 predictions include:
- SC Freiburg 2-1 Wolfsburg
- Hertha Berlin 1-2 VfL Bochum
- Hoffenheim 0-3 Union Berlin
- Schalke 04 1-3 Eintracht Frankfurt
- Werder Bremen 1-2 FC Köln
- FC Augsburg 0-3 Borussia Dortmund
- Mainz 05 2-2 VfB Stuttgart
- Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
- Overall Bundesliga record: 142-138
- Last week’s Bundesliga record: 6-3
- DFL-Supercup record: 1-0
- DFB-Pokal record: 3-1
- Champions League record: 6-4
- World Cup overall record: 38-25
- WWU overall record: 189-169
- Guest predictions: 7-5