After securing the signing of Tanguy Kouassi, Bayern Munich are planning to upset Paris Saint Germain once again as they plan to move for one of their prime targets, Tiemoue Bakayoko, who is currently plying his trade for AS Monaco on loan from Chelsea.
Kouassi, Bayern’s latest acquisition, rose through the ranks of the Parisians’ youth academy, before making his professional debut earlier in the season.
The young defender made 13 appearances for PSG’s senior team this season but failed to agree on a contract extension with the Ligue 1 champions, thereby opening the door for the Bundesliga giants to snap him up.
PSG sporting director, Leonardo won’t be happy by the manner in which the Bavarians acquired one of their highly-rated prospects, and it seems the two clubs could be set for another battle, this time for Tiemoue Bakayoko.
A brief history of Tiemoue Bakayoko
Having burst onto the scene with Monaco, the defensive midfielder earned a big-money move to Chelsea in 2017, after playing a key role in the French club’s run into the Champions League semi-finals in 2016-17 season.
Tiemoue Bakayoko, who also helped Monaco pip PSG to the Ligue 1 title that year, was part of the mass exodus which saw various key players from Leonardo Jardim’s team leave for pasters anew.
After moving to Stamford Bridge, the 25-year-old struggled to break into the playing XI under then-Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte and was often criticised by fans and pundits alike for failing to replicate the performances for which the Blues had made him their second-most expensive signing at £40 million back then.
The following year, Bakayoko was sent out on loan to AC Milan, but he couldn’t revive his career in Italy. Instead, he was on the receiving end of racial abuse in Serie A, which clearly didn’t help the Frenchman’s morale.
Bayern Munich and PSG iset to battle it out for Tiemoue Bakayoko
Ahead of the 2019-20 season, the versatile midfielder rejoined Monaco on a year-long loan deal. Returning to the Stade Louis II has helped Tiemoue Bakayoko to rediscover his form, which in turn has seen being linked to various big clubs, including the likes of Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain.
Leonardo is reported to have been tracking the Chelsea loanee for quite some time now, but PSG won’t have a free run as Bayern Munich are also monitoring the situation.
Chelsea will most certainly want to cut their losses on the Frenchman, but now that he is back to his best, the Blues will be looking to recoup as much as they can from the fee they paid to Monaco three years ago.
That being said, which club between Bayern Munich and PSG would be best suited for Tiemoue Bakayoko’s attributes?
The Bavarians are looking at a central midfielder who would be able to fill in the shoes of Thiago and Javi Martinez, both of whom have been linked with moves away from the Allianz Arena.
If that indeed happens, Bakayoko would get ample playing time in Germany, which would be his priority, given that he’s entering his peak years now. The midfielder would also be looking to book his place in France’s squad for next summer’s Euro.
Moreover, his versatility would add value to Bayern Munich, who simply love players who can fill in at multiple positions, which in turn would allow Hansi Flick to deploy different formations as per the opposition team’s strength and weaknesses.
The German duo of Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich have established themselves as the first-choice midfield pairing at Bayern Munich, and Bakayoko would have to compete with them for a place in the playing XI.
Moreover, the likes of Michael Cuisance and Corentin Tolisso also play in a similar position, meaning more competition.
Despite his versatility, the 25-year-old plays best in a three-man midfield. Hansi Flick has favoured the 4-2-3-1 formation in the majority of his games, meaning Bakayoko would have to adjust to a double-pivot system if he does indeed join the Bundesliga giants.
If Tiemoue Bakayoko ends up at the Parc des Princes, he would fit seamlessly. The Frenchman won’t have to acclimatize to new surroundings in a new league, as he knows PSG inside out from his previous stints at AS Monaco.
Moreover, unlike Bayern, places in midfield are up for grabs in the French capital, given Idrissa Gueye and Marco Verratti are the only two players who have managed to impress Thomas Tuchel.
The addition of Bakayoko would help the German coach revert to his favoured 4-3-3 formation, with Bakayoko sitting deep to dictate play, accompanied by a shuttling midfielder in Gueye, and a creative fulcrum in Verratti.
There aren’t too many downsides to this deal, given it’s a win-win for both parties involved. However, the fact that Bakayoko has a curious history with PSG’s direct rivals Monaco could complicate matters a bit with the ultras, who don’t really share a lot of sympathy for many of the club’s big-name players, including Neymar himself.
The Chelsea loanee would have to work really hard to win over the ultras and prove his allegiance towards the Parisians.
All things considered, as tempting as Bayern Munich may be, Tiemoue Bakayoko should turn them down to remain in his native France, and join the strongest team in the country – Paris Saint-Germain.
He’s already proven his mettle in Ligue 1 in the past, and that way, the Frenchman would be playing directly under the radar of the national team coach, Didier Deschamps.
Joining PSG makes sense for Bakayoko, but it remains to be seen if and when the Parisians make their move.