It would be fair to say this has not been defender Jerome Boateng’s finest season in his 8 year Bayern Munich career. Injuries, along with Mats Hummels and Niklas Sule nudging ahead in the central defender pecking order, answer the question why isn’t Jerome Boateng playing much. His mood would not have been improved by Joachin Low informing him in March that he was no longer going to be considered for the German team either. The season culminated in Boateng being an unused sub in the German cup final, a game Bayern won 3-0. The club President, Uli Hoeness, then commented it may be time for Boateng, who has two years left on his contract, to look for a new challenge elsewhere.
So what happened to Jerome Boateng? He has looked a distant, out of place figure at Bayern for some time now. He was rightly criticised for walking off the pitch in apparent apathy after the cup final once he had his winner’s medal and not celebrating with his team mates. This was perhaps one season too many for Boateng at Bayern Munich, having tried to manoeuvre a move to PSG prior to the season, which fell through. Manchester United also showed interest in Boateng but to no avail. Since then the relationship between club and player has gone south and Boateng has not been shy in showing his feelings.
Yet Boateng is a proven defender, a World Cup winner who is still only 30 years old and who has won 18 trophies in his time at Bayern. He will attract plenty of interest from around Europe, including the Premier League. His sulking on the bench and occasional misguided decision, as when he organised a players nightclub party in advance for the night after their big game against Dortmund, will not detract managers looking to boost their defence with an experienced international player. A replacement for Vincent Kompany could see a move for Jerome Boateng to Man City, while fans at the Emirates may be desperate for their club to engineer a move for Jerome Boateng to Arsenal to help shore up their shaky back line. Liverpool are rumoured to be interested but with one spot only up for grabs alongside Virgil van Dijk, can a move for Jerome Boateng to Liverpool guarantee him a start every week?
Of course being out of favour is not unique in football, though others perhaps deal with it with a bit more professional grace. Gareth Bale shared Boateng’s experience of sitting out his final game of the season on the bench for a manager who does not seem to regard him as first choice material any more. While Bale vows to fight for his place at Madrid his agent will not be switching his phone off any time soon. Similarly Alexis Sanchez seems desperate to leave Manchester United having struggled since his arrival from Arsenal, though he always still seems to be chomping at the bit to get on the pitch.