From Mark Hughes to Landon Donovan via Philippe Coutinho and James Rodriguez (l-r), some big names have joined Bayern Munich on loan. - © DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH
From Mark Hughes to Landon Donovan via Philippe Coutinho and James Rodriguez (l-r), some big names have joined Bayern Munich on loan. - © DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH

A history of Bayern Munich’s loan signings from Mark Hughes to Philippe Coutinho via James Rodriguez and Landon Donovan


The signing of Alvaro Odriozola makes it three loanees in the current Bayern Munich squad alongside Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Perisic. Following in the footsteps of James Rodriguez from Real Madrid, the full-back is the 12th player to join Bayern on loan since Mark Hughes paved the way in the 1970s. gives you a brief history of Bayern’s loan signings…

Mark Hughes
Position: Centre-forward
On loan from: Barcelona (1987/88)
Games for Bayern: 23

The first player to join Bayern on loan was legendary Welsh striker Hughes. The Manchester United youth product had moved to Barcelona in 1986 but failed to really make an impact in Spain and was loaned out to Bayern for the 1987/88 season. Although he failed to win a trophy in Germany, and his seven goals in 23 games was relatively unremarkable, 23-year-old Hughes was part of footballing legend during his stay in Munich.

Hughes (l.) scored seven goals in his brief spell with Bayern. - imago images / Horstmüller

“Sparky”, as he’s famously known, once played for both Wales and Bayern on the same day. His national team had a crucial European Championship qualifier in Czechoslovakia on 11 November, the same day his new club had to play a DFB Cup second-round replay at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach. When Bayern’s then general manager Uli Hoeneß found out that the qualifier kicked off several hours before his team’s game, in typically ingenious fashion, he organised for Hughes to be flown straight from Prague to Munich on a private jet.

While Wales lost 2-0 and missed out qualification, Hughes made it to the Olympiastadion in time for the second half with Bayern trailing 1-0. He came on in the 63rd minute for just his second appearance for the club as they went on to win 3-2 in extra-time. According to Hughes, “it seemed to buck up the team and the crowd, and it was good for me personally to warm myself to the crowd. It was a masterstroke from Mr. Hoeneß.”

Emil Kostadinov
On loan from: Deportivo La Coruna (1995)
Games for Bayern: 35

A Bulgaria international, Kostadinov was signed on loan from Deportivo La Coruna for the second half of the 1994/95 season, just months after reaching the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup, and scored on his debut in a 2-1 win at Bochum.

Kostadinov was signed permanently by Bayern after his loan from Deportivo La Coruna. - imago/MIS

Bulgaria’s Player of the Year for 1993, the striker was signed permanently in the summer and went on to score eight goals in 35 competitive appearances, including in the second leg of the 1995/96 UEFA Cup final that Bayern won, before leaving for Turkish side Fenerbahce.

Ze Roberto
Left-back/central midfielder
On loan from: Club Nacional (2007-09)
Games for Bayern: 248 (two spells)

The Brazilian’s loan spell with Bayern was actually the second time he joined the club. He’d previously signed from Bayer Leverkusen in 2002 and would stay in Munich for four years, winning three Bundesliga-DFB Cup doubles.

Watch: Ze Roberto’s top 5 Bundesliga goals

He then left for Nacional in Uruguay before the 84-time Brazil international returned to the Allianz Arena in 2007 on a two-year loan. “It’s like I’d never been away”, he said before going on to win another domestic double. All told, Ze Roberto scored 20 goals and provided over 60 assists in his nearly 250 appearances for the record German champions and is fondly remembered.

Massimo Oddo
On loan from: AC Milan (2008/09)
Games for Bayern: 27

Joining Ze Roberto for the second year of his loan was right-back Oddo, who arrived from AC Milan for one season. Famed for his work rate, the Italy international was first choice under Jürgen Klinsmann, with Ze Roberto or the emerging Philipp Lahm on the other side.

Italy international Oddo had a mixed time over his 27 games on loan for Bayern. - imago sportfotodienst/imago sportfotodienst

Appearances became more sporadic later in the season as Jupp Heynckes took over as caretaker and Bayern ended the season without a trophy, finishing two points off champions Wolfsburg. The 2006 FIFA World Cup winner returned to Milan at the end of the season.

Landon Donovan
On loan from: Los Angeles Galaxy (2009)
Games for Bayern: 7

One of US soccer’s greatest players, Donovan had in fact been on the books at Leverkusen early in his career before returning home to set the MLS alight. With the American season not running over winter, the striker and other players would often go to Europe and train with clubs there to maintain their fitness, often joining on short loan deals before the resumption of the MLS in February/March.

Donovan originally joined Bayern to train with the likes of Franck Ribery during the MLS off-season. - imago sportfotodienst/imago sportfotodienst

In 2009, Donovan did just that at Bayern, joining fellow loanees Ze Roberto and Oddo. Although he’s the USA’s all-time leading scorer, the then 26-year-old didn’t manage to find the back of the net in his seven competitive appearances in Munich before his return to Los Angeles.

Takashi Usami
On loan from: Gamba Osaka (2011/12)
Games for Bayern: 5

Usami had been named the Best Young Player in Japan’s J. League prior to joining Bayern on loan in June 2011 from Gamba Osaka. On signing, he stated: “I want to improve my skills to the point where I can take their [the first-team players] places”. The then 19-year-old didn’t quite manage that, playing predominantly for the reserves, but he did get a taste of action in the Bundesliga, UEFA Champions League and DFB Cup, scoring his only goal in the latter as part of a 6-0 second-round win over Ingolstadt.

Usami (r.) failed to break through in the Bayern first team during his loan spell. - imago sportfotodienst/imago/Sven Simon

Following his spell in Munich, the year Bayern finished second in all three competitions, the Japan international joined fellow Bundesliga club Hoffenheim on another loan. He returned to Osaka before signing permanently for Augsburg in 2016 and having two years on loan at Fortuna Düsseldorf before returning to Gamba again in 2019.

Kingsley Coman
Left winger
On loan from: Juventus (2015-17)
Games for Bayern: 143

After expressing his desire to leave Juventus, Coman joined Bayern on a two-year loan in 2015 having already won three consecutive league titles in Italy and France by the age of 19. Since making his debut in Munich against Augsburg, the French winger has been bamboozling Bundesliga defences on his way to four more league titles.

Coman has added to his already impressive trophy collection since his original two-year loan spell in Munich. - 2016 Getty Images

Bayern made the deal permanent at the end of the two years that had seen him develop from raw talent to top-class winger alongside compatriot and mentor Franck Ribery. It’s really only poor luck with injuries that have kept the 22-time France international to a maximum of 23 Bundesliga appearances a season. Nevertheless, he’s played his part when fit and chipped in with 29 goals and 33 assists in all competitions.

Serdar Tasci
On loan from: Spartak Moscow (2016)
Games for Bayern: 248 (two spells)

A former Bundesliga champion with VfB Stuttgart, Tasci spent just six months on loan at Bayern in the second half of 2015/16 with the club struggling with defensive injuries. Almost ironically, the Germany international was then ruled out himself just days after joining from Spartak Moscow when he suffered concussion in training. He would only make three appearances, all of which came in the Bundesliga, as Bayern retained their league title in Pep Guardiola’s final season.

Tasci didn’t play much but added a second Meisterschale following his title with Stuttgart. - imago sportfotodienst/imago/Sven Simon

James Rodriguez
Attacking midfielder
On loan from: Real Madrid (2017-19)
Games for Bayern: 67

Rodriguez was the player who coach Carlo Ancelotti specifically wanted to help drive Bayern forward, and the club duly secured the Colombian’s services on a two-year loan deal from Real Madrid. He opened his account for the Bundesliga champions on his first league start, providing a goal and an assist in a 3-0 win at Schalke.

Watch: James Rodriguez's Bundesliga mixtape

Ancelotti was gone by the end of September and James enjoyed some strong spells under successor Heynckes, particularly with a goal and two assists in a 6-0 thrashing of Borussia Dortmund. The last of his 15 goals for the club came as a hat-trick against Mainz on Matchday 26 of 2018/19 as he returned to Madrid with a pair of Bundesliga winner’s medals and a DFB Cup title in his bags, but a European honour evaded Bayern and the 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner.

Philippe Coutinho
Attacking midfielder
On loan from: Barcelona (2019/20)
Games for Bayern: 23

Coutinho is just over halfway through his agreed loan spell in Munich, and the club do have an option to make the deal permanent should they desire. The Brazil international had played in Italy, England and Spain before his move to Germany, and he appeared to settle in relatively quickly, providing a goal and an assist on just his second start against Cologne.

Watch: How Coutinho gives Bayern the X-factor

He repeated the feat the following week at Paderborn, providing a glimpse of what he’s capable of. The signs have therefore been promising, with his greatest display coming in the 6-1 thrashing of Werder Bremen when he bagged a hat-trick and brace of assists in what was the most productive club game of his career. Final judgement on his spell at the Allianz Arena will more likely be made towards the end of the season.

Ivan Perisic
Left winger
On loan from: Inter Milan (2019/20)
Games for Bayern: 20

Admittedly, eyebrows were raised when Bayern announced they’d signed former Wolfsburg and Dortmund winger Perisic on loan for 2019/20, but it was typically clever business by the Bundesliga champions. For a low fee and the option to make the deal permanent in the summer, they got an experienced wide man to complement Coman and Serge Gnabry following the retirements of Arjen Robben and Ribery. If things didn’t work out, the cost would be minimal.

Perisic has been making the most of injuries to make his mark at Bayern. - 2019 Getty Images

While the 2018 World Cup runner-up may want more playing time, only completing 90 minutes in four of his first 21 competitive appearances, a return of five goals and six assists, essentially having a hand in a goal every 100 minutes, is something the player and club can and will be pleased with.