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Monday, September 3, 2012
Martinez's arrival proves Bayern's depth

Stephan Uersfeld, Germany Correspondent

Bayern Munich showed the full extent to their strength in depth on Sunday as they thrashed VfB Stuttgart 6-1, with club-record transfer Javi Martinez only making his debut from the bench.

Martinez, 24, came on as a substitute with 13 minutes left on the clock, by which time it was all over at the Allianz Arena thanks to a Thomas Muller brace and goals from Toni Kroos, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Luiz Gustavo and Mario Mandzukic.

The € 40 million man's arrival puts added pressure on those in the Bayern starting line-up, given Martinez's ability to play in either defence or midfield.

When you add the arrivals of Mandzukic, Dante and Xherdan Shaqiri into the mix, it's understandable that 'keeper Manuel Neuer believes it could prove to be the difference in winning the title this season after missing out last term.

"Nobody can be dead certain he starts," he told Kicker. "Everyone knows he has to fight for his position. The competition is bigger. It could be that those were the few percentage points missing last season."

Coach Jupp Heynckes also stressed that he has "many more options than last year", while captain Philipp Lahm told Kicker: "One can realise even at the start of this season that our squad is well positioned."

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