When Bayern Munich made the first publicly promoted contract signing of the Social Distancing Era, the news was the culmination of the three-year battle for Thomas Müller. It also made for an awkward photo op — and we are not just talking about Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidzic slow metamorphosis into a black market arms dealer.

Müller’s merits and accolades have been well-covered on this site and elsewhere, but what seemed to be blatantly obvious to some fans was largely ignored at the club from the time Carlo Ancelotti took through Niko Kovac’s departure. Simply put, Bayern Munich is a better team when the 30-year-old Raumdeuter is on the pitch.

For that, Bayern Munich needed to make a move to secure the player and give him the assurance that his future is now more important than his unforgettable past. For someone that has won a Champions League title, a World Cup, a Golden Boot, and also a player that has been at the helm of this incredible Bundesliga run of seven straight league titles, pushing past those “Glory Days” and entrenching him firmly into the team’s strategic vision for the immediate future was certainly not as easy as it should have been.

Müller’s deserved contract extension was not a reward for years of service or even a golden parachute of some sort; it was an acknowledgement that the player has much more to offer this season (if it ever starts back up) and over the following three years.