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Bayern Munich's loan gamble pays off as Josip Stanisic shines at Bayer Leverkusen

Bayern Munich took a calculated risk when they loaned Josip Stanisic to Bayer Leverkusen last summer, a move that raised eyebrows among football pundits.

The departure of Benjamin Pavard in August to Inter Milan left Bayern thin at right-back and in central defence, making the 24-year-old Stanisic seem like an ideal solution for coach Thomas Tuchel - had he not been loaned.

However, halfway through the season, Stanisic struggled for playing time under coach Xabi Alonso, leaving Bayern in dire need of defensive reinforcements. 

Despite his frustration, Stanisic's importance was recognized by Leverkusen, especially with the 2023 African Cup of Nations looming on the horizon.

As the AFCON approached, Stanisic's role under Alonso grew, highlighted by his goal against Bayern in a 3-0 victory at the BayArena. Since the start of the year, Stanisic has been a regular feature for Leverkusen, but a return to Bayern seems unlikely.

While Stanisic hoped to reunite with Alonso, who looked likely to move to Bayern next season, the Spaniard's commitment to Leverkusen dashed those hopes. 

Stanisic expressed his disappointment, saying, "Well, I'm happy that he's happy here. Of course, it's a bit of a shame for me. Maybe I was hoping for a different outcome," in an interview with Sport1.

With uncertainty looming over Bayern's next head coach, Stanisic's future at the club remains unclear. However, his stellar performances for Leverkusen this season suggest he could be a key player for Bayern in the upcoming campaign.

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