3 Reasons for Bayern Munich to Be Excited About Renato Sanches' Arrival

Clark Whitney@@Mr_BundesligaFeatured ColumnistJune 19, 2016

Portugal’s Renato Sanches runs with the ball during a friendly soccer match between Portugal and Bulgaria in Leiria, Portugal, Friday, March 25 2016. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)
Armando Franca/Associated Press

Bayern Munich turned heads in May when they pipped a host of top clubs to sign Renato Sanches from Benfica.

The Guardian's Michael Butler reported in May that Manchester United were weighing up an offer, but the Bundesliga record champions reached an agreement with Sanches first and paid the Portuguese side €35 million to release their player from his contract, per Transfermarkt. It was a massive sum given Sanches was and remains just 18 years of age.

The Bavarians clearly saw something in Sanches to be willing to invest so much in securing his signature.

Below, Bleacher Report looks at the top three reasons Bayern and their fans should be excited about the impending arrival of Sanches at the Allianz Arena.

He's Only 18 and Already Has This Body

Looking at Sanches, it's hard to believe he is only 18 years of age. With broad shoulders and rippling muscles, he possesses the physique of a power athlete; he wouldn't look out of place on an American football field or on a basketball court.

Bayern have built a team of athletic, skilled players who can make an impression as much with their pace and power as with the ball at their feet. Consider Douglas Costa, Arturo Vidal, David Alaba and Robert Lewandowski: They are all physically dominant yet simultaneously possess outstanding skill on the ball.

Sanches is just the next in line. He has an explosive turn of pace and great agility, plus the tenacity and aggressive nature to jump into a challenge and win back the ball. And he seems to have the stamina to play two 90-minute games in the same day if he wants to.

Many young talents are signed with the hopes their physical development will continue and eventually catch up to their technical level, at which time they can begin to play with the senior team. Despite his age, Sanches clearly looks ready.

The Only Way from Here Is Up

At 18, Sanches has already made a name for himself and developed a reputation around European football. He showed it at Benfica in the Champions League and is showing it for Portugal at Euro 2016, where he has become the youngest player to represent his country at such a tournament.

Sanches already has the athleticism of a senior athlete, yet physical development continues long after 18. It's always hard to tell where a physical limit will be reached, but any more development of strength and power at this point is just a bonus.

Where Sanches will surely improve is in his technical and mental characteristics. As he trains with Bayern superstars, he'll learn more tricks and skills and have the opportunity to develop his shooting technique, his dribbling skill, his passing ability and so on. And with veterans such as Vidal and Xabi Alonso in the team, he'll learn from the best how to understand in-game situations and how to read the flow of play. 

No player's development ends at 18. As good as he is, there is only one way to go from here for Sanches, and that's up.

He Fits the Bayern Profile

Bayern are known for their confidence and, to some, their arrogance. We see it in Arjen Robben, regularly trying to win matches on his own. We saw it when Thomas Muller stared down Roman Burki, never even glancing at the ball or his target when taking his penalty in last season's DFB-Pokal final.

It's something that may turn many away, but self-assuredness is one factor behind Bayern's success. One of the reasons why they win is that they win; it's a snowball effect, and if the players expect to win, then they are more likely to do so.

Sanches is the right fit in a team of players whose confidence often borders on arrogance. In a recent profile, the Guardian's Vitor Hugo Alvarenga likened Sanches to Paul Pogba. The comparison was based on the propensity of both players to take risks with the understanding they have the skill to decide matches on their own. So a difficult dribble or pass is worth trying because the result could mean three points.

The 18-year-old is the kind of player who believes in himself and takes responsibility. As he develops, this could see him become one of the world's best midfielders and footballers overall.

Sanches cost Bayern a pretty penny, but his potential could see him become a world-beater in the next few years.

The German giants will have to be patient with him, but he already has the physicality to play in the Bundesliga, he has the right attitude for Bayern and he will only get better in the years to come.

In a few years' time, the €35 million price tag may be seen as a bargain.



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