According to a report by kicker, Konrad Laimer has informed RB Leipzig that he’s unwilling to renew his contract, though he’s not told them he wants to leave immediately. In Leipzig there’s talk of a €25-30m asking price. They prefer not to sell to Bayern Munich, but the scenario is not ruled out (as captured by @iMiaSanMia).
All this talk of multiple clubs, from Manchester United to Bayern Munich being interested in the Austrian, raises a few questions.
How good is Konrad Laimer? Is he the midfielder Bayern needs?
Here’s the answers to all your questions.
In simple words, Laimer is a pressing machine. He is a high volume presser and is extremely effective at regaining possession. His aggressive and high-energy style of play, combined with a good tackle success rate means he is the perfect midfielder. Many pundits draw comparisons to his style of play with that of N’Golo Kante.
There are not many players who can trouble the opponent like Laimer does. He’s also excellent at keeping the opposition away from the ball and clearing the way to start counter-attacks.
In a double pivot, Laimer aims to progress with the ball while at the same time, also helping in creating wide overloads. To put it simply, Laimer is extremely comfortable with the ball at his feet, and also excellent at finding spaces.
(Essentially, a wide overload is when a central midfielder passes to a winger in a wide area.)
If you are already impressed by Laimer, the next quality of his will be the icing on the cake.
He’s incredibly press-resistant. He is just as good as evading the press as he is at pressing. He has the pace and energy to regain possession when he loses it and ALSO is brilliant at difficult situations.
His energy has drawn the admiration of fellow Austrian Marko Arnautovic: “I don’t know what he ate or had to drink beforehand. To cover that amount of ground is crazy. He has a huge future.”
Laimer doesn’t have very good passing statistics, which has to do with Leipzig’s vertical passing, something that we have seen in Bayern games ever since Julian Nagelsmann’s takeover.
Former Salzburg and Borussia Monchengladbach manager, Adi Hutter on Laimer: “He is incredibly aggressive on the ball, challenges opponents very hard and brings established professionals to the ground. He knows exactly what he wants.”
His stats (which can be accessed at FBref.com) are testament to his skills as a skilled, yet energetic beast of a midfielder.
Now, let’s address whether Laimer is a necessity for Bayern’s midfield, for which we will list out the problems with Bayern’s midfield and cite solutions for the same.
Problem: Constantly losing possession and not being able to regain
Solution: Laimer’s presence can certainly help; this has been explained in detail.
Problem: Passing has been terrible lately
Solution: This has a lot to do with the vertical passing system and Laimer probably won’t be of much help, since he isn’t exactly that great at passing himself.
Problem: Susceptible and vulnerable when being pressed
Solution: Laimer is, in all respects, both an excellent presser and a player that’s extremely press resistant.
(The other problems with the midfield such as fatigue and so on have more to do with the lack of squad rotation.)
Laimer would be a massive addition to Bayern’s squad, but this transfer isn’t without its problems.
- The fee: An asking price of €25-30M is no joke.
- Players like Marcel Sabitzer and Ryan Gravenberch, who are behind Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka in the pecking order too are looking for play-time. With a more hectic than usual season ahead of us, a player like Laimer can be a crucial asset until Nagelsmann decides to not rotate the squad. This is essentially more a Nagelsmann problem than that of the transfer itself.
What do you think about the possibility of Laimer moving to Bayern? Are you excited to see him here in the future? Let us know in the comments.