Just over three months into his first season with Bayern Munich, central defender Niklas Sule has proven himself to be a pivotal part of the squad. The 22-year old has hardly put a foot wrong when he’s been called upon and has quickly earned the trust of Jupp Heynckes. In addition to his solid defensive contributions, Sule has also grabbed a goal and an assist from a total of 14 appearances across all competitions, 10 of which were starts. He’s also boasting an average pass completion rate of 94.6% across all competitions, the highest of any player in the squad so far this season.
Most recently, Sule started alongside Mats Hummels in Bayern’s back line for their comfortable 3-0 win over Bavarian rivals, FC Augsburg, in what was his 6th league start of the season. Speaking after the win (via Bayern Munich web site), Sule made sure to make his appreciation of Heynckes’ trust in him clear:
I feel the coach puts a lot of trust in me, I make lots of appearances. I try to vindicate it. Many people hadn't thought I'd make so many appearances. I had trust in myself.
With productive numbers like this, Heynckes will certainly continue to give him plenty of opportunities:
Niklas Sule had 97% passing accuracy against Augsburg, more than any other player.— Bayern mania (@Bayern_mania) November 19, 2017
Sule on the match: "We are playing better and better. Today's match took us a notch further forward once again." pic.twitter.com/CY6roynkCp
Being in the ranks with Hummels and Jerome Boateng, Sule admits, has also helped him improve his game and has kept him hungry for opportunities:
I train with the two on a daily basis, you watch every move as a young player. Their body language is very professional, during training too. Also the way they approach training: diet and other things. I can learn a lot.
Without too much of an argument, Sule’s third in the pecking order of center backs behind the likes of Hummels and Boateng, but he’s started three of Bayern’s four Champions League group stage matches so far and is likely to be handed another start for the trip to Belgium to take on RSC Anderlecht. He’s looking forward to the occasion and suggests that he’ll be keeping his fingers crossed that Celtic can get some sort of a result against Paris Saint-Germain to give Bayern hope of being able to win group B:
It's the Champions League, the anthem will ring out. Everyone's looking forward to it. It's nice we're [already] in the next round, but we want to win the match. Every Champions League side has quality and is able to annoy others. We hope it'll happen when Celtic take on Paris.