5. Corentin Tolisso – Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich bought Corentin Tolisso from Lyon during the summer for a Bundesliga and club record fee of €41.5 million. The 23-year-old Frenchman is a talented box-to-box midfielder who will likely play centrally for Bayern. However, Tolisso is positionally versatile and could line up as a full-back for the German club. Tolisso’s versatility was one of the reasons why Bayern targeted him in the transfer window. With Xabi Alonso and Philipp Lahm retiring, Tolisso was signed as part of Bayern’s plan to replace both players.
Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti instantly inserted Tolisso into the starting XI, opting to play him in central midfield with Arturo Vidal dropping down to play above the center-backs. Ancelotti’s decision to play Vidal further back should improve Bayern defensively and allow Tolisso more offensive opportunities. Last season with Lyon, Tolisso scored 14 goals in all competitions. In the Bundesliga season opener, Tolisso scored his first goal for Bayern. Tolisso and Thiago Alcantara will operate as the playmakers on Bayern, with both players leading the league in touches as they try to push the ball forward to Robert Lewandowski and the rest of the front three.
Last season was disappointing for Bayern Munich as they were eliminated in the quarterfinals after losing both legs to Real Madrid. The Bavarian club have made it to at least the semifinals in six of the past eight Champions Leagues and will be expected to make it at least that far this year. Despite being unknown outside of France, a long Champions League run with Bayern could earn Tolisso a spot in France’s starting XI at next summer’s World Cup.