On Wednesday, Bayern Munich announced the most expensive transfer in its history and the history of the German Bundesliga, with the 80 million Euro signing of Lucas Hernández from Atletico Madrid.
The previous most expensive such transfer was that of Corentin Tolisso from Olympique Lyon for 41.5 million two seasons ago.
Like Tolisso, Hernández is also a French international and a member of that country’s 2018 World Cup winning squad.
He can play both as a left-back and a center-back. The Bavarians need reinforcements at both positions given that David Alaba is the only natural left-back in the squad and that there are only three center-backs, filling two starting positions.
Beyond that, neither Alaba, nor the older pair of the center backs (Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng) can say for sure that they will remain at the club next season.
It is clear that Lucas Hernández should be a major improvement to the squad, but two things make this signing a gamble in my opinion.
One is the damage to his right knee that the Bayern medical team reportedly found during the Frenchman’s medical examination. It requires surgery, but Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt has said that he expects the player to be ready for the start of the Bundesliga campaign.
I am obviously no medical expert, but such damage at the very least sounds very serious and like something that might potentially threaten a career, even if the surgery goes well. That has to be a concern, especially with such a costly transfer.
That brings us to my second concern that I have about this. Lucas Hernández is almost twice as expensive as the current number two on that list.
I know that the Bavarian hierarchy has decided to participate in the madness in terms of transfer spending that other European top clubs take for granted, but I think that that may be the wrong approach and that it may lose Bayern its identity in the process.