At just 19 years old, French soccer prodigy Kingsley Coman has proven himself on the field this season as the youngest of Bayern's first-team regulars. We can all agree with Thomas Müller's recent assessment in an interview: "It was a bit of a surprise how well Kingsley slotted in. At 19, he was still a relative unknown. He's done a fantastic job, he's very reliable for his age." He was loaned to Bayern by Juventus Turin for €7 million this past August.
Now Kingsley Coman has given an exclusive interview to bundesliga.com, the English-language website of the Bundesliga, reflecting on his accomplishments this season and his goals for the future. He also gives us some insight into the adjustment he has had to make in coming to Bayern Munich.
The pace of Bayern's season and his status as a starter have been a major adjustment for the young star. Coman said, "Since my arrival at Bayern, from the end of August until Christmas, we have played almost every three days. I have been fortunate to avoid injuries, but that means I felt a little tired. I must say, the break did me the world of good. I was able to recharge my batteries and build up my strength." Bundesliga.com followed up with the question, "What does a player at your level do to recover?" His answer? "We had two full weeks of holiday. I stayed with my family near Paris. I slept a lot."
Coman himself has been surprised at the amount of time he has played this season. He told bundesliga.com, "I never would have thought I would play so often. Yes, the powers-that-be had promised me a good amount of playing time, but I have even often been in the starting line-up. With all the injuries, and because I feel Pep Guardiola's trust each day, I have been able to meet expectations."
Coman's playing time at Bayern indeed contrasts dramatically with his last season at Juventus in 2014/15: he played only twice in Juventus' Champions League campaign, each time for a single minute (including the final!), and he generally sat out most important Serie A games on the bench, entering for a handful of minutes in 12 matches and playing a full 90 minutes just twice.
At Bayern, Coman has had an incredible season. In the first half of the 2015/16 season, he has appeared in 11 Bundesliga, 4 Champions League, and 2 DFB Pokal matches. He has 3 goals and 2 assists in the Bundesliga, and 1 goal and 5 (!) assists in the Champions League. He has played a full 90 minutes in 8 of his Bundesliga appearances, and twice in the Champions League.
Coman enjoys the attacking style of play at Bayern: "Firstly, the attacking style of play suits me down to the ground [i.e. "au fond" - "totally, perfectly"]. At Bayern, I often get the ball, and the style of play is all about going forward." His 4 goals and 7 assists across competitions bear him out.
Looking forward, Coman has his eyes foremost on the Bundesliga: "Here, I have the opportunity to win a lot of trophies, and first of all, the Bundesliga title. For me, it would be my third [league title] in a row after Italy with Juventus (2015) and France with PSG (2014)." It would actually be Coman's fourth league title in three different countries at the age of 19. Victory with Bayern would moreover be the first in which Coman can look back with satisfaction on his own major contributions to the campaign. Naturally, he adds, "We also want to win the DFB Cup and the Champions League. We're hungry and we want the maximum."
Beyond this season, Coman hopes to stay with Bayern for several years: "I have marvelous conditions here, I'm very happy. But it's not only up to me: If I continue performing, I could stay [longer] than two years in Munich." The two years in question are the duration of the loan that sent him from Juventus to Bayern Munich, ending on June 30, 2017. In what looks like the best of all loan deals, Bayern Munich are blessed with an option to buy Coman for €21 million. In an interview with kicker on December 28th, Coman said, "I'd like to stay longer. The club should buy me; that's what I hope." Given his stellar performance and lingering doubts about Franck Ribéry, buying Coman looks like a steal. For now, Bayern Munich can afford to take its time and see what its young new star will do next.