Michael Olise to Bayern Munich: The Athletic 500 transfer ratings

Bayern Munich have signed Michael Olise from Crystal Palace on a five-year contract.

Our writers — experts in transfers, tactics, data and football finance — have come together to rate this summer’s senior Premier League transfers in five categories, with each aspect given a score out of 100, to reach a total score out of 500. Hence, The Athletic 500.

Due to Olise’s links to various Premier League sides, including Chelsea and Newcastle United, and the interest around his move, we decided to do a rating of his move to Germany’s Bundesliga, while still employing the same rating system and data as for the rest of the series.

The ratings are explained in more detail here (not all transfers will be rated like this, as there may be a lack of data to support an analysis).

Below is our rating for this move.

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Tactical fit — 57/100

A look at how the player fits into his new club tactically, using Sentient Sports’ bespoke tactical-fit model, explained by our tactical expert.

Olise is an interesting first signing for new head coach Vincent Kompany at Bayern, as the move involves an element of tactical risk for all parties involved.

Having been the hub of Palace’s attack over the past two seasons, Olise will now become the proverbial small fish in an ocean of high-level talent in Munich. There are no doubts about his potential, though, with Olise recording 12 goals and 17 assists in 56 Premier League appearances over the two campaigns. Despite enduring an injury-ravaged 2023-24, his creativity from both the wing and half-spaces was undeniable.

Graph 1 1

Olise is a solid finisher, converting 57 per cent of his big chances last season and scoring almost twice as many non-penalty goals as expected (nine from an xG of 4.7). He will also provide a progressive carrying option for Bayern, having averaged 6.4 successful take-ons (47 per cent success rate) per 90 minutes last season.

The example below from the 5-0 win against Aston Villa in May shows how Olise’s positioning and movement opened attacking avenues for Palace. Dropping infield, he collects a pass from Adam Wharton and turns away from two defenders before sliding Jean-Philippe Mateta in to score.

Tactical GIF 1

In Kompany’s preferred system — and in the Bundesliga — Olise should get more time on the ball than he did with Palace, allowing him to cut inside and link up well with right-backs who overlap, such as Noussair Mazraoui and Sacha Boey, as opposed to Joshua Kimmich, who has also played that position.

However, Olise will also have to make changes to his game, particularly his crossing and defensive work.

Last season, he averaged 2.5 crosses from open play per 90, the second-most in Palace’s squad, but only 23 per cent of these were accurate. This and his innate ability to often move inwards raise questions about how he will work with Bayern’s main striker Harry Kane.

Defensively, his 4.8 recoveries per 90 ranked Olise 15th out of Palace’s 23 outfield players, while his tackle success rate of 29 per cent was the fourth worst at the club. Olise’s 0.5 possessions won in the attacking third per 90 was also the lowest among all of Palace’s attacking players.

Kompany typically requires his forwards to lead the press and force high turnovers, so these are areas where Olise will need to take a big leap next season.

Overall, this seems like a deal that will require some major learnings from Olise’s end but if he gets past the growing pains of the adaptation phase, the 22-year-old could be a value-for-money, long-term signing.

Anantaajith Raghuraman

Season rating: 81/100

Rating the player over the course of the 2023-24 season, using statistics from The Athletic’s data team.

Despite injuries ruling him out for exactly half of the Premier League season, Olise made a huge impression in what proved his third and final year at Palace.

In 19 league appearances (14 starts), Olise had an outstanding return of 10 goals and six assists. After suffering a hamstring injury that sidelined him for almost two months, his return to the side in April coincided with Palace going on an impressive unbeaten run to end the season, winning six of their final seven matches to kill off relegation worries.

Had injuries not blighted him — he didn’t make his first appearance until the November after suffering serious hamstring damage on international duty with France Under-21s last summer — it is not unreasonable to suggest Olise would have been a contender for the Premier League’s player of the season award, given his outstanding contribution to an otherwise middling Palace side.

Elias Burke

Gaming rating: 79/100

Rating the player according to Football Manager 2024’s data across both current and potential ability.

According to Football Manager, Olise has the talent to make an immediate impression at Bayern, and could end up as one of the club’s best players if he fulfils his potential.

Olise has a current ability rating of 150 on FM24, which equates to someone who is a talented but not yet wholly rounded player at the elite level. His number compares favourably to other highly-rated prospects of a similar age, including Chelsea and England forward Cole Palmer (140), but he is still quite a way off the more experienced Leroy Sane (169), a new team-mate, who featured heavily from the right wing under Bayern’s then boss Thomas Tuchel last season.

While Olise is already an outstanding player, Sports Interactive’s extensive scouting network believes he can improve considerably.

His potential ability on FM24 is 166, slightly lower than Sane but still in the world-class bracket of wide attackers. For context, Bayern forward Jamal Musiala has a current ability rating of 158, suggesting Football Manager believes he has the talent to surpass the 21-year-old full Germany international’s current level.

Now it’s up to Kompany and the Bayern coaching staff to get him there.

Elias Burke

Financial value rating: 65/100

A four-category summary of the player’s transfer in financial terms — and whether it makes sense for his new club

Market value — 17/25

A fee in the region of £50million ($64.1m) has taken Olise from south London to Bavaria and, given his potential and age, it represents sound business in this summer’s market. Plenty of clubs in the Premier League were keen on Olise at that financial level and his development in the past two years hints there is more to come from him. 

Squad cost — 14/25

Bayern are spending to get back to the summit of German football next season after a run of 11 straight Bundesliga titles was ended by Bayer Leverkusen, and also targeting youth to freshen up their options under new-appointment Kompany. The fee to sign Olise is an indicator of their direction of travel and you can expect players will leave the club to top up the coffers. 

Contract sensibility — 18/25

A five-year contract works for all parties. Bayern have long-term security with a player still on an upward trajectory, while Olise has easily the biggest deal of his young career. He is not expected to be among the biggest earners in their squad, limiting the financial burden. 

Resale value — 16/25

Last season’s injury problems would be a minor concern but Olise’s progress in the Premier League points more towards a youngster bound to reach an elite level. A contract through to 2029 will see him reach the age of 27, supposedly the peak of a footballer’s career. Much of that £50million outlay — if not all — will likely hold. 

Philip Buckingham

Risk or reward? 80/100

Is there a history of injury or other problems that could crop up and make this deal a bad one in retrospect? Or does the player come with a clean bill of health? Our expert takes a look.

Olise was a target for many of Europe’s elite clubs, and Bayern should feel very fortunate that he chose them ahead of the competition.

From their point of view, the pursuit of Olise was a no-brainer. It is rare that an outstanding young prospect, who has already proven his ability to score and create goals in the Premier League, would be available for a relatively market-sensible price due to a release clause. If Bayern had not entered the race, he’d probably have instead strengthened one of their Champions League rivals for years to come.

michael olise injury history

There are some considerations from a Bayern perspective, however.

Olise has suffered two hamstring injuries over the past two seasons, which have kept him out of action for a total of 21 matches (195 days in total). While his immediate productivity after returning from those lay-offs suggests he has not lost any of his physical and technical qualities, persisting hamstring issues have been known to bring long-term physical implications for other players.

And while he is accomplished in Premier League terms, he has yet to win a senior cap or play in any of the European club football competitions.

This, in comparison, is a much more minor concern as there is no suggestion his skill set would not translate to the sport’s biggest stages.

Elias Burke

Overall rating: 362/500

(Photos: Getty Images; design: Eamonn Dalton)

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