What Bayern Munich have been able to achieve domestically in recent years can be defined as pure, unadulterated dominance, winning 10 consecutive league titles.
2022/23 Season Preview: Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich will go in search of an 11th straight Bundesliga title in 2022/23 but European dominance remains their true desire
And although their place among the European elite is more than secure, they would like to have physical confirmation of that in the form of the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League title.
Review of Bayern Munich's 2021/22 season
For almost any other club, securing a tenth-straight league title would automatically mean a great season but Bayern Munich’s lofty standards say otherwise.
A shocking 5-0 defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach in the second round of the DFB Pokal led to their elimination from that competition.
Their Champions League campaign also ended in disappointing fashion with a defeat to another surprising opponent, knocked out in the quarterfinal by Villarreal.
State of affairs
There is a bit of uncertainty surrounding Bayern as the 2022/23 season beckons and it all stems from the departure of Robert Lewandowski.
The Polish striker left the club after eight years in which he scored 344 goals in 375 games and led the line in talismanic fashion for the Bavarians.
Although the club still has a lot of quality, including new signing Sadio Mane, it remains to be seen how Julian Naggelsmann will set up to make up for such a huge loss.
Transfers: Ins & Outs
Bayern Munich have had a strong transfer window so far and although they have not brought in a like-for-like replacement for Lewandowski, the €32 million signing of Sadio Mane from Liverpool inspires confidence.
Dutch centre-back Matthijs De Ligt joined from Juventus for €67 million, teenage sensation Mathys Tel joined from Stade Rennes for €20 million, Dutch midfielder Ryan Gravenberch joined from Ajax for €18 million and Noussair Mazraoui arrived from Ajax as a free agent.
Robert Lewandowski leads the major departures, joining Barcelona for €45 million, Chris and Omar Richards (no relation apparently) both returned to England, joining Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest as did Marc Roca, who joined Leeds United while Niklas Sule and Corentin Tolisso left as free agents.
Big question: Can Mane replace Lewandowski?
Senegalese winger Sadio Mane cannot replace Lewandowski positionally because he’s not a natural centre-forward even though he’s played there before.
But Mane can become just as important to Bayern Munich as Lewandowski was by becoming their talisman which he is more than capable of doing.
The fact that the club has not gone all out to sign a recognised striker yet shows that they have some level of faith in Mane stepping into that role, let’s just hope their faith is not misplaced.
What would constitute a good season?
Bayern Munich won the Champions League as recently as 2020 and back in 2013 as well and on both occasions they completed the treble.
A repeat of that feat would be the only real level of success for the Bavarians in 2022/23, correcting the wrongs of their woeful cup campaigns last season would be a good place to start.