The January transfer window is fast approaching. FC Bayern are no doubt planning to re-inforce the team in hopes to compete for the title this season. In my eyes, the Bavarians should opt to sign Dutch playmaker Rafael van der Vaart from Real Madrid during the next transfer window.
I’ll talk you through the pros and cons of signing Van der Vaart in this article.
Pro: Bayern Really Do Need a Playmaker in Midfield
Without their two stars Ribery and Robben, FC Bayern seems devoid of any and all creativity when going forward. Van Gaal’s 4-3-3 formation relies on creative wingers and a good playmaker.
The team has adapted to having no real playmaker, but when you eliminate one or both wingers from the equation, you are left with a rather average side.
This is something the coach should take responsibility for, but not entirely. Bayern did try to sign Werder’s Diego, who opted for Juventus instead. This leaves the side without a real playmaker, as the likes of Van Bommel, Müller and Schweinsteiger are unable to provide the required creative boost.
Pro: Van der Vaart Is Looking to Move Away
We can be quite clear on this subject. Van der Vaart does not hold a spot in Real’s starting lineup and barely gets any playing time. So far, Van der Vaart has played in six league games and a few cup ties, but he was a substitute in almost all of these games.
Dutch national team manager Bert van Marwijk has announced he will only take players to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa who play regularly at their club. Van der Vaart would definitely be interested in a move to a club with the stature of FC Bayern.
Pro: Van der Vaart Is Able to Effectively Play in a 4-3-3 Formation
FC Bayern boss Louis van Gaal is an adamant proponent of the Dutch style of football, in a 4-3-3 formation with wingers and a real playmaker in midfield. So far this season, he has given several players the chance to fill in the role of playmaker, but none have impressed.
Van der Vaart is a graduate of the famous Ajax youth academy, which is renowned for playing in a 4-3-3 formation. Van der Vaart has filled the playmaker role for Ajax and the Dutch national team in a 4-3-3 formation and he has done so quite well in the past.
Pro: Van der Vaart Has Played in Germany Before
Whenever a club brings in a new player, this newcomer generally has to adapt to his new surroundings, his new teammates, and his new club’s style of play. If this newcomer has never played in this specific country before, he might even experience a culture shock which means it takes longer for him to become an effective asset to the team.
Van der Vaart would probably need some time to adapt, but he has two aspects working in his favour. First of all, he’s Dutch. The difference in culture and way of life between Holland and Germany isn’t that big. Secondly, Van der Vaart has already spent three seasons at HSV, so he has played and lived in Germany before.
Pro: Van der Vaart Is a Big “Name” in Germany
FC Bayern fans like big names and famous players, as do most football fans. Van der Vaart is a big name, in Germany anyway. During his spell at HSV in Hamburg, he played 76 league games and scored an impressive 29 goals from midfield.
He was also considered one of the Bundesliga’s best playmakers at the time, alongside Werder’s Diego, someone who could carry the team with his intelligent passes and ability to score decisive goals in important matches. Surely, the fans would love such a signing.
Con: Van der Vaart is Dutch
Normally, nationally wouldn’t matter. In the case of Van Gaal, it might just make the difference between a successful signing and a multi-million euro flop. You see, Van Gaal formed a Dutch clique at Barcelona. He likes to surround himself with people who are familiar with his style and these people are often countrymen.
Now as long as the team keeps winning, no one minds. As soon as the team starts losing, people will point out that the large amount of foreign players as one of the causes, because they “don’t put in the effort a local lad who has a commitment towards the club would have.”
This happened to Van Gaal in Barcelona and it might happen to him again in Munich. He has brought in his old friend Andries Jonker as an assistant and various players from the Netherlands like Edson Braafheid, Arjen Robben and Dutch-based Danijel Pranjic.
When Van Gaal brings in Van der Vaart, he brings in yet another Dutch player. When success doesn’t come instantly, this will create further friction. This is one source of trouble Van Gaal should try to avoid, as he has enough trouble on his mind already.
Con: Van der Vaart is Lacking Match Rhythm
I’ll repeat myself here. Van der Vaart does not hold a spot in Real’s starting line-up and barely gets any playing time. So far, Van der Vaart has played in six league games and a few cup ties, but he was a substitute in almost all of these games.
This means he lacks the match rhythm a normal squad player would have. Even when he trains daily with stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka in Madrid, there’s a huge difference between a training session and a real, competitive match. He might take too long to adapt to his new club to be a real asset this season.
As you can see, I was able to come up with far more reasons why Bayern should sign Van der Vaart rather than why they shouldn’t.
He has the skills to be an instant-impact player for the struggling Bavarian side. He is able to play in the formation the coach desires to play. He is, or will be, looking for a transfer and he has played in Germany before.
The main downsides are his nationality and his lack of match rhythm. The nationality problem really shouldn’t be much of an issue when Bayern’s performances on the pitch start to pick up. Match rhythm is something Van der Vaart might be able to pick up soon enough, as his countryman Robben has done before him.
So all in all, I really do believe FC Bayern should sign Rafael van der Vaart. He is just the kind of player they need to give their entire team that boost required to make a serious title challenge.