By Oliver Trust
BERLIN, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Bayern Munich, which have concentrated on signing internationally experienced players for decades, change their focus to promising youngsters this time.
The recent announcement made by the club's sports director Hasan Salihamidzic allows no other conclusion as Bayern are being forced to alter their much-loved habits as the international markets have undergone radical changes.
One might assume that the club have learned from the latest trends in professional football: It is now vital for leading clubs to detect talents with star potential before they actually turn into stars.
Bayern have accepted that quick decisions are a must. They have to now take calculated risks especially as sums being invested in players have rocketed.
While superstars like Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus Turin) and 2018 Player of the Year Luka Modric (Real Madrid) are not available, the prices for lesser stars have gone through the roof.
When Salihamidzic, a 42-year-old former midfielder, spoke about the club's plans to secure its future, he was talking about deals involving promising youngsters like Benjamin Pavard (22/VfB Stuttgart), Callum Hudson-Odoi (18/Chelsea), Lucas Hernandez (22/Atletico Madrid) and Alphonso Davies (18/Vancouver Whitecaps).
National rivals Borussia Dortmund are an example to follow.
The Bundesliga table toppers have developed promising but rather unknown players like Ousmane Dembele (125 million euro to Barcelona), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (65 million to Arsenal), Christian Pulisic (64 million to Chelsea) and former Manchester City striker Jadon Sancho (value has increased from 7.5 to approximately 70 million) to a world-class level.
Manchester City signed young Leroy Sane after only six months in FC Schalke's first team for 50 million when he was 20. Kylian Mbappe joined Paris St Germain from AS Monaco when he was 21 for 135 million.
Like in Dortmund, both signings have been a success. Sane is on his way to joining the world's best and Mbappe seems to have enough potential to follow in the footsteps of Messi and Ronaldo. Meanwhile, the French wonder-boy is said to be worth over 250 million.
Lacking talented youngsters of their own, Bayern have been forced to consider paying big sums (Davis/14 million, Hudson-Odoi/40).
It will take some time before the Bavarians can benefit from the fruits of their new 70-million euro academy that opened in 2017.
While the current rejuvenation process is in full swing, many long-serving players are maybe close to leaving the club with only six months of the 2018/2019 season left. They include Rafinha (Flamengo Rio de Janeiro), Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, James Rodriguez (Juventus Turin is said to be interested), Renato Sanches and Javi Martinez (Athletic Bilbao).
Though sports director Salihamidzic is working on shaping Bayern's future team and is reported to be interested in the 23-year-old Paris midfielder Adrien Rabiot and 22-year-old RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, he also hopes his current golden-agers are still determined to end on a high note in their last season at Bayern ahead of its crucial duel Friday evening against TSG Hoffenheim.