Bayern power rankings, winter break 2017-18

Upgrades galore! FC Bayern München player ratings have largely improved when Jupp Heynckes returned to the fold. Our power rankings before the second half of 2017-18.

Man of the half

9.5 Kingsley Coman

Wowsa! He went from a predictable run-and-cross type to the most potent attacking threat on the wings at FC Bayern as Jupp Heynckes returned. Versatility and creativity have been on display, earning him a long contract extension. The team has at least found one of the successors to Robbery. May we determine the next one soon! (October: 7)

Going strong

9 Sven Ulreich

One word: transformation. A strong injection of Vitamin Jupp turned the previously-underperforming keeper into a worthy replacement as Manuel Neuer dealt with a serious foot injury. Bayern know that they are safe with this guy in goal because he can stop wicked shots and penalties, as well as dart out of the penalty area to grab the ball. (October: 7)

9 Thomas Müller

What crisis? Müller has returned to form in impressive fashion, bamboozling naysayers who thought he was damaged goods and unfit to play on the right wing. Müllered! (October: 6)

9 James Rodríguez

As I predicted near the end of the transfer window, this guy is the steal of summer 2017. James deserved to play more and injuries made him the go-to playmaker while Thomas Müller handled the right wing. His ability to go anywhere on the pitch, make creative passes and deliver solidly from dead ball situations make me beg for more! (October: 8)

9 Javi Martínez

For four years, I maintained in all circumstances that Javi is a central midfielder, not a defender. Willy Sagnol reinstated him to the midfield and Jupp Heynckes confirmed the move. This proved the obvious. Javi blossomed once again to anchor the middle of the park solidly. His ability to put pressure on attacking players may only be one step behind what it was in 2013. Hopefully he will regain it in the second half. (October: 7.5)

8.5 Mats Hummels

Here is another man who deserves a solid upgrade. He suffered during Carlo Ancelotti’s tenure, only to become much stronger under Heynckes. Exquisite challenges and strong headers up front make for a well-rounded, elite central defender. (October: 7.5)

8.5 Joshua Kimmich

There is no doubt that Bayern have their long-term replacement for Philipp Lahm at right-back, but there are some clouds in the skies. While as strong offensively, he needs to polish his defending at the other end to become as legendary as his predecessor. We like him, though. (October: 9)

8.5 Jérôme Boateng

Boateng may have to take a few step forwards to be the best central defender in the world once again, but his progressive return to form since October has been a welcome addition to Bayern. It feels like the long cannonballs and strong defending will only improve further in the second half. (October: unrated)

8 Niklas Süle

The first match against PSG in the Champions League made him look bad, but he has come back to show strength. His positioning has improved and physicality added robustness to the central defence. It is hard for anyone to “compete” with Jérôme Boateng and Mats Hummels, yet Süle complements them well. (October: 8)

8 Arturo Vidal

He was inconsistent under Carlo Ancelotti and has improved since Jupp Heynckes has returned. A public challenge by the coach may have contributed to that. Improvements are not impressive enough to earn an upgrade, but the signs are promising. (October: 8)

8 David Alaba

Average at best in the early going, the once-best left-back in the world has greatly benefited from Heynckes’ return. His chemistry with Franck Ribéry is proven and the partnership with Coman is developing nicely. (October: unrated)

Doing OK

8 Robert Lewandowski

The Polish international remains one of the top strikers in the world, if not simply the best. His productivity in front of goal was not always stellar, however, and he could have been more unselfish. (October: 8)

8 Corentin Tolisso

The young Frenchman surely packs a punch on the ball. His attacking instincts are insane, as PSG and Anderlecht have discovered in the Champions League. He must, however, develop a better understanding of defending. (October: 7.5)

8 Sebastian Rudy

The central midfielder had a very strong start to the season, topping my power rankings in October. He lost a step after that, being more inconsistent. In some of the games (think PSG) he was the weakest link although we expected him to be among the most dependable players. The second half of the season could be hard for him. Javi Martínez is a better holding midfielder. Thiago, Arturo Vidal and Corentin Tolisso are all better attacking players. He must pray for a rotation policy to get serious playing time. (October: 9.5)

Can improve

7.5 Franck Ribéry

Out of action in October and November, he made a welcome return in December. He earns a slight upgrade due to excellent defensive work as he was progressively returning to form. Whether he can recover his attacking powers remains to be seen. (October: 7)

7.5 Thiago Alcântara

Average until Jupp Heynckes came in, he had a brilliant game against Freiburg but has been much less dominant before getting injured in November. Let us hope that he has is in him to play as well as he did last season. (October: 7.5)

7.5 Arjen Robben

Did we witness the first signs of his decline? At times brilliant enough to be the man of the match, he had many muted performances before getting injured in November. We can only hope that he will recover full fitness, but there are doubts. (October: 7.5)

6 Rafinha

Meh. Raf has struggled to make a mark when playing as a left-back and has not impressed on the right flank either. His time may be up in Munich. (October: 7)

Unrated

Manuel Neuer, Juan Bernat, Christian Früchtl