Bayern Munich sealed the transfer of Benfica midfielder Renato Sanches for a fee of 35 million euros earlier this month.
Recently the outgoing Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola labeled the prodigiously talented midfielder as one of the best players of his generation. It appears that the Spanish manager was not the only admirer of the Portuguese midfielder.
Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal also did his best to secure the services of the talented box-to-box midfielder this summer.
Looking at the move from a financial perspective, €35million deal does seem like an awful lot of money for an 18-year-old midfielder untested in any of the top five European leagues. However, the player’s potential offers high hopes for future.
Here at SportsCourant we look at the former Benfica sensation, assess his strengths, weaknesses and his chances of making the grade at one of Europe’s elite clubs.
Style, Strengths, and Weaknesses
Sanches is a typical box-to-box midfielder who loves to drive forward throughout the game and is blessed with incredible stamina.
The young Benfica midfielder earned a lot of plaudits this season for his tireless running and defensive contribution. The Portuguese midfielder also loves to bomb forward.
Furthermore, he is just as comfortable doing the dirty work by pressing and tackling when needed. Sanches is also blessed with a hammer of the right foot and has been the nightmare for the Liga Sagres shot stoppers this season.
Regarding weaknesses, Sanches will need to develop his decision making and passing. However, for a player of his age, he is quite mature. At times, his reckless tackling and composure on the ball have been a bit of hindrance to his side, but that will improve with time, coaching and regular first team action at the highest level.
How will he fit in at Bayern Munich?
Incoming Bayern Munich manager Carlo Ancelotti prefers a 4-4-2 formation and will need two highly energetic and disciplined central midfielders for that.
With Arturo Vidal already at the club and Javi Martinez morphed into a centre-back, Sanches could well be set for a pivot role under the Italian next season.
The former Real Madrid manager also likes to switch between 4-3-3 and 4-1-2-1-2 depending on the opposition. That will suit the Portuguese midfielder just fine. He can operate as the advance central midfielder or as the engine alongside Vidal and Thiago.
With the way the transfer market has evolved over the years, 35 million euros for an 18-year-old is no longer absurd. Manchester United striker Anthony Martial is a major example of how these young talents can easily galvanize a side regardless of their lack of experience.
Sanches’ talent is beyond doubt and playing alongside two of the best central midfielders in Europe, Vidal and Alonso, there would be a good chance that he will develop and develop his immense potential at Bayern Munich.
Furthermore, the Portuguese professional will have one of the best coaches in the history of the game guiding him over the next few years of his career.
Will he be a major hit at Bayern Munich? Time will tell. Is it an intelligent investment from Bayern Munich? Most certainly.