Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (31) moved to FC Bayern Munich on a free transfer last October and has been convincing there in various ways since then. There are now signs of an extension of his contract, which will expire in the summer.
The fact that the much-discussed (and allegedly at least temporarily resolved) relationship crisis between sports director Hasan Salihamidzic and coach Hansi Flick has become more acute in recent months was reportedly mainly due to different player ratings. Almost all of the newcomers to FC Bayern Munich since the duo started working together could be assigned to a warehouse very quickly.
On the one hand, there is the 20-year-old Portuguese Tiago Dantas, whom Flick had observed for a long time and who recently called “a project that I wanted to tackle”. And on the other side there are Leroy Sane and Marc Roca, whom Salihamidzic already tried the year before, Alexander Nübel, to whom he is even said to have promised a certain number of assignments, and Bouna Sarr.
And then there is Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. The 31-year-old offensive all-rounder came together with Roca, Sarr and the only loaned Douglas Costa shortly before the end of the transfer window in October – and surprisingly, it seems to please everyone right from the start.
With Choupo-Moting, FC Bayern found a representative of an extremely rare species: a substitute player who accepts his role and, if needed, delivers without a long start-up time. Such players are particularly important for top clubs such as FC Bayern, which are active in international competitions and are dependent on occasional rotations due to the enormous load.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: Representative of a rare species
The one year older striker Robert Lewandowski starts at Bayern in all important games and is relentlessly chasing all available records as well as probably those that have yet to be invented. This season, for example, he could crack Gerd Müller’s 40-goal mark from the 1971/72 season, which is forever inaccessible, and is currently 35.
Lewandowski scored three of these 35 goals on Saturday in a 4-0 win against VfB Stuttgart before he got a bit tired in the second half. So he left the field in the 70th minute and was replaced by Choupo-Moting, as so often this season. In contrast to the 2-1 win in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 against Lazio Rome on Wednesday, he did not succeed this time after being substituted on.
Nevertheless, Choupo-Moting is still the team’s second most effective player with five goals in 748 minutes of competitive play: On average, he hits every 150 minutes and thus more regularly than regular players Thomas Müller (226), Serge Gnabry (216), Leroy Sane (254) and Kingsley Coman (326). Only Lewandowski is more effective with one goal per 72 minutes.
“In the minutes in which I get to the train, I try to accelerate and help. Ideally with goals, of course,” said Choupo-Moting, who despite his height of 1.91 meters is not a classic breaker, but also about has a remarkable smoothness in his movements.
As of now, it seems unlikely that Parma will use the agreed purchase option of 15 million euros at the end of the season. Should Zirkzee return to Bayern, he would have to duel with Lewandowski for playing time with Choupo-Moting. Whose expiring contract is supposed to kicker namely to be extended.
Should FC Bayern not sign a fourth winger after the impending departure of either disappointing or injured Juventus Turin loan Douglas Costa, Choupo-Moting is also an option for this position. At the end of February he was even in the starting line-up against 1. FC Köln as a left winger, and with his goal to make it 1-0, he initiated the 5-1 victory. For the subsequent top game against Borussia Dortmund, of course, he returned to the bench without a murmur.