Kinglsey Coman voiced his confidence about his 2017/18 campaign with Bayern Munich in an interview with Sky Germany (via ESPNFC) ahead of France’s World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands at the Stade de France on Thursday evening.
Entering into his third campaign with Bayern, Coman feels that he has a vital role to play under Carlo Ancelotti despite being behind both Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben in the pecking order - and arguably also James Rodriguez once he returns from injury.
There’s no disguising the fact that Coman struggled to gain positive traction last season in a campaign that saw him hampered by injuries. He registered only 2 goals and an assist in a total of 24 appearances across competitions, a mark well below his 6 goals and 12 assists in 2015/16.
On being third choice behind Ribery and Robben...
Asked about his prolific, veteran counterparts, Coman insisted that he feels that Bayern have faith that he can be the man to step into their shoes when the time comes:
You never know what will happen. Both are still playing at a very high level. Perhaps they will both extend their contracts again; you can never say for sure. But I know that the club is completely banking on me in the future. I am still young; both of the others are simply a little older. I have spoken to the Bayern hierarchy and therefore I stayed in Munich because they will give me the chance here. Of course, I have to take my chances, but my prospects are good.
Ironically enough, it was Coman who ultimately made the difference in Bayern’s 2-0 win over Werder Bremen last Saturday, providing the assist for Robert Lewandowski’s opening goal after coming on as a substitute in the 64th minute for Robben - a perfect illustration of the proverbial passing of the torch in Bayern’s offense.
On playing under Pep Guardiola vs. Ancelotti...
Coman was far more prolific with goals and assists under Pep Guardiola in 2015/16 season than under Ancelotti since he's taken over as manager. Even when Guardiola was still in charge, Coman had a considerable firepower to compete with for a starting spot. Yet despite that bevy of world class talent, Coman managed to earn a total of 27 starts in 2015/16 under Guardiola, a mark nearly three times higher than his 10 starts under Ancelotti last season.
When asked about his relationship with the two managers, Coman remained diplomatic and respectful despite his contrasting fortunes under the two:
I didn't have a special relationship with Guardiola. We didn't speak a lot. However, it is correct I played and started more regularly as he placed his faith in me. At times, I also played because others were injured, but we didn't talk every day.
He quickly brushed off any hint of speculation that he might not see eye to eye with Ancelotti:
The relationship is the same [as it was with Guardiola]. The fact I played less allowed me to work more on the weak points in my game, like my heading or my finishing. I feel stronger than two years ago, even though you don't really see that as I don't have a huge amount of playing time. Last year, for example, I understand entirely the coach's position, given my injuries.
If his involvement continues to be as significant as it was last weekend against Bremen, Coman's prospects certainly look to be on the ascendancy, especially if either Ribery or Robben pick up an injury at any point during the season. Regardless, he's always an option to utilize, especially in a wider role, which Ancelotti has placed a lot of emphasis on so far this season. Coman's got the ability to make a difference when he's involved, even with limited opportunities, so it's absolutely vital for him to continue to make the most of his chances.
He's clearly hungry for success this season and should receive the chance to earn it.