Bayern Munich’s Louis van Gaal’s continues to trim players from his squad in preparation for the opening of the Bundesliga season. The outright release of former Italian international striker and 30 goal man Luca Toni was followed today by van Gaal’s statement regarding Anatoliy Tymoschuk. Tymoschuk signed from Zenit St. Petersburg just last summer. Today van Gaal said “his prospect are not bright”, according to Kicker. Tymoschuk would appear expendable after midfielder Toni Kroos’s outstanding FIFA World Cup performances. Kroos who spent last season on loan to Bayer Leverkusen will give Bayern Munich additional depth in an already loaded midfield. Van Gaal‘s moves also opened the door further for German legends Miroslav Klose and Bastian Schweinsteiger to play expanded roles this year for the Bundesliga powerhouse. Bayern, who finished as UEFA Champions League runners-up last term feature an outstanding squad and are still considering adding players before transfer window closes including Real Madrid’s Van der Vaart and Stuttgart’s German International Sami Kheidra if you believe the transfer rumors flying around.
The only area of doubt for van Gaal’s side is Ribery’s legal problem which resulted in criminal charges being filed for consorting with an underage “escort “this week. Last term Ribery proved to be Bayern’s engine and if he becomes unavailable because of the legal issues van Gaal’s side could find themselves needing a replacement in the midfield. Perhaps van Gaal knows something about the French legal system we don’t or he is planning a move for Werder Bremen’s Mesut Ozil who is a perfect replacement for Ribery and plays well with his potential Bayern teammates and fellow German Internationals Schweinsteiger, Klose, Kroos and Muller. With or without Ribery Bayern is loaded with world class performers. Provided Ribery can avoid jail time and is not sold to Real Madrid before the season starts the midfield will feature Dutchmen Arjen Robben, and Mark Van Bommel, with Ribery (or Ozil) and Schweinsteiger, leaving Klose and wunderkind Thomas Muller to team up front, and super sub Gomez coming off the bench . There may not be a better attacking squad in European football at the moment with each of these players coming off stellar World Cup performances. Bayern Munich’s goal is to exceed last year’s surprising run to the final of the UEFA Champions League by lifting the trophy at Wembley on May 28th 2011, and I for one don’t doubt that this team is built to do it.