Thomas Muller has admitted that Bayern will face a stern test following the departure of Robert Lewandowski, but says there were “good reasons” for the striker’s departure.
The Poland international brought an end to a trophy-laden stint in Bavaria by completing a move to Barcelona, leaving a significant void in Bayern’s attack ahead of the 2022-23 season.
Bayern have moved for a replacement, landing Sadio Mane from Liverpool and being vocal with interest in Tottenham striker Harry Kane, and Muller has defended the club’s decision to allow Lewandowski to leave.
“All parties decided that Lewy should leave the club, there were good reasons for that,” he told BILD.
“But, without a doubt, we don’t know what to expect when a player who has always scored between 30 and 50 goals per season is no longer with us on the field.
“There was no plan to always play for him, but when you know you have a striker like that, you do it. Now things will change, and it will be exciting to see how our attack develops.”
While the loss of Lewandowski’s goals will certainly present a difficult adjustment for Bayern, Muller identified occasions in the past where the club has coped with similar high-profile departures.
“We’re not going to play with ten simply because Lewy left,” Muller said. “Now there will be opportunities and scoring chances for other players. Maybe we score less, but that doesn’t mean we won’t succeed as a team.
“For example, Mario Mandzukic replaced Mario Gomez in 2012. Mandzukic didn’t get the records Gomez had, but we won the treble and were invincible as a team.”
Bayern will once again begin the season as favourites for the Bundesliga, having won the past 10 titles, but Dortmund’s transfer activity prior to the start of the campaign has caught the eye.
Muller, heading into his 15th season as a Bayern player, believes it’s a good thing that their arch-rivals are bolstering their ranks.
“[It’s good] that something is also stirring at BVB. It is not known whether BVB will now score ten more points,” he said. “But it’s good for the league. There is anticipation and excitement in the air.”