When Bayern Munich signed Juan Bernat last summer, it was a move as diminutive as the player himself. With David Alaba appearing to have the leftback role nailed down -- considering he's the best leftback in the world -- Bernat appeared to be a depth signing without much fanfare. Combined with a relatively low transfer fee and salary to boot, not many saw the ability that Pep Guardiola did. Perhaps not even Guardiola himself saw how much Bernat would bloom at Bayern Munich.
His Season Performance
Juan Bernat's minutes say it all: 4,117. Bernat appeared in every single match for Bayern Munich save 3 this season. His tireless, almost limitless, ability to play day-in and day-out for nearly 9 months was a massive key to Bayern Munich's sustained success this season. With David Alaba falling victim to multiple knee injures and Franck Ribery being a near permanent fixture on the trainer's table, Juan Bernat was the only consistent component of Bayern Munich's left sided wingplay -- often he was the only component. Surrounded by a rotating cast of players, Bernat's ability to integrate with them all and develop from a depth player to a key cog was masterful.
Next Season Prospects
Juan Bernat is Bayern Munich's leftback. David Alaba may reign supreme, but his talent and ability everywhere on the pitch will ensure that he is Guardiola's swiss army knife and Juan Bernat is Bayern Munich's leftback. The young Spaniard can only go up from here. Let's hope his rise continues to be as meteoric as it was this season.