AC Milan’s Oddo on a Season-long Loan to Bayern

Massimo OddoThe unexpected bookend to yesterday’s surprising transfer of Marcell Jansen to Hamburg is Bayern’s acquisition of right back Massimo Oddo on a season-long loan from AC Milan. The 32-year old brings both international class and a warm body to shore up the team’s dangerously thin defense. According to Bayern’s general manager, Uli Hoeneß, the team had kept tabs on Oddo for six days before making their move. “We believe,” Hoeneß said, “that he is a player who can help us.” Not exactly informative, but the underlying message is clear. The goal set out by Klinsmann upon his arrival was to translate domestic dominance into European success. A Champions League-winner like Oddo would know how to handle the biggest matches and perform well (consistently!) in high-pressure situations.

That being said the move is, in my estimation, an odd one. While Bayern acquired a World Cup- and Champions League-winning defender, they replaced a 22-year old starlet with a player 10 years his senior. This is clearly not a long-term solution and begs the question, “What is the solution?” or rather, more specifically, “What is Christian Lell to do?” Is this move designed to give Lell another year to develop? Or is he destined to be an eternal backup (formerly to Sagnol now to Oddo), at least until he leaves Munich?

4 thoughts on “AC Milan’s Oddo on a Season-long Loan to Bayern”

  1. Well, Mark, my humble opinion is that Oddo serves a two purposes — 1) an experienced defender; but more importantly, 2) another Italian to keep Luca Toni happy. It's well-known that Toni has had a tough time learning German (I sympathize.). Ribery has Van Buyten and Sagnol, but Toni's rather on his own. He's said more times than I can count that he'd like to have another Italian-speaking teammate, and also said this summer that Bayern needed more top signings in the squad (read: “Fewer Germans, more foreign internationals.”). Klinsmann speaks Italian, but I imagine Toni would still like to have a training partner to talk with.

  2. I think this move has be viewed less as a response to Jansen moving on, and more as a counter to the injuries to Sagnol and Altintop. Frankly, I don't think they would have made this move if Sagnol was healthy, because I don't think Klinsmann was lying when he heaped praise on Sagnol in the summer, and basically said he was ready to go into Europe with him at right back. Maybe Klinsmann would have preferred Oddo, which is why they shopped Sagnol in the summer, but I believe he was satisfied with Sagnol even if many of us fans had doubts. So they swap in another highly experienced 30-something right back who will add a playmaking dimension that is not there with Lell. It's not earth-shattering, but it's stabilizing and I'm looking forward to slightly fewer anxiety attacks.

  3. I think that's very true. Toni has made it clear that he'd like more Italians in the squad. I think that explains to a point Bayern's pursuit earlier this year of Milan's Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso. I guess the third time's the charm when dealing with the Rossoneri.

  4. I suppose I'm more surprised by the appearance of another right wingback/defender rather than it specifically being Massimo Oddo. Yes, Altintop's reinjury of his foot is problematic, but there are now four players on the books suited to play RWB or RB (Sagnol, Altintop, Lahm, and Lell) and but only Lahm on the left with the departure of Jansen. If Lahm gets injured, then what? Playing a midfielder out of position? I suppose there's Oliver Stierle, a LB who's playing for the reserves right now, but that's not the answer either.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *