As Bayern Munich transitions into a new era, Thomas Müller is the last home grown Bavarian talent. DW's Davis VanOpdorp thinks Carlo Ancelotti has to find him a place in the squad for the sake of the club's identity.
Thomas Müller is Bayern Munich.
He is one of the last success stories of the club's academy and has been a key player in Bayern's record-breaking trophy haul during the last five years.
Most importantly, he is the last Bavarian player in the squad after the departure of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Holger Badstuber and the retirement of Philipp Lahm earlier this year.
For all the glitz and glamor that has made Bayern Munich the most hated club in Germany, they remain, at their core, Bavarian. Upon hiring sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic, club president Uli Hoeness said he wanted to restore a "Mia san Mia" feeling at the club, referencing the club's motto which loosely translates to "we are who we are."
That commitment to return to Bayern's roots makes Carlo Ancelotti's decision to drop Müller against Werder Bremen on Saturday - and Müller's comments after the game - all the more disconcerting.
Despite additions, Müller should be top choice
DW's Davis VanOpdorp says Carlo Ancelotti's place at Bayern should be in question, not Thomas Müller's
Ancelotti's job isn't easy. He has a squad full of talent that he has to manage - a task that will only get more complicated when newly acquired playmaker James Rodriguez returns from injury.
But the three-time Champions League winner has not gotten the most out of Müller. Last season, Müller scored less than 10 goals in all competitions for the first time in his career. Müller's almost constant playing time in the first six years of his career will certainly haven taken a toll, but Ancelotti's tactical approach hasn't helped.
Müller is a free thinker, a self-confessed Raumdeuter (a space investigator) who exposes the space on a football pitch that others don't see.
The solution is not to drop him. Despite his struggles last season, Müller still scored five goals in five World Cup qualifiers for Germany. That is not the kind of talent you leave on the bench.
Add the fact that so far this season, Bayern have looked underwhelming for an aspiring Champions League winner and it should be Ancelotti's place at Bayern in question, not Müller's.
If Bayern had to choose between one or the other, they'd choose Müller. At least they should, if Bayern Munich are who they say they are.