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Kingsley Coman feels freer starting under Jupp Heynckes

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Bayern Munich’s dynamic young winger opens up about his game, his decision to extend his contract, and his special relationship with Franck Ribery.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga
Benjamin Henrichs blinked, and Kingsley Coman was gone.
Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images

Throughout Kingsley Coman’s first two seasons at Bayern Munich – first under coach Pep Guardiola, then Carlo Ancelotti – you never could be sure of which Coman you were getting. The pacey speed-demon who could terrorize fullbacks? Or perhaps the raw, inexperienced teenager who could disappear from games for extended periods? Really, it could change from game to game, sometimes even half to half.

This season, though, and especially since the re-introduction of Jupp Heynckes as head coach, Coman has delivered top-class performances on a consistent basis. No longer are you unsure of the production you’ll be getting. Instead, he’s someone you confidently slot in on the wings expecting high-level production.

Al-Ahli v Bayern Muenchen - Friendly Match Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images

In an interview with Kicker (excerpted by TZ here and here), Coman spoke about what has helped him justify the fee Bayern paid for his permanent services this summer. Chief among them has been the faith Heynckes has shown in him. Coman explained,

When your chances to play only come sparingly, it puts you in a whole different starting point. You have more pressure, and as a young player it’s easy to tense up. My head is clearer now. I need that for my dribbling-oriented game, which depends on taking risks. I need to feel like I’m allowed to make mistakes.

His risks are being rewarded: he has racked up four goals and seven assists across all competitions this season.

Coman also explained why he signed a contract extension that will keep him in Munich until 2023. “I just feel good here and had no reason to wait or speculate,” Coman said. “The club has always treated me fantastically, and when they offered me a contract extension, I was immediately for it.”

Of course, a coach isn’t the only one who can have an influence on a youngster’s performance. In Coman’s case, it’s been Franck Ribery who has shown him the ropes and helped him out when needed. “We get along great. He’s French like me and gives me a lot of tips and advice. He’s like a big brother. He has a lot of experience and I benefit from that,” said the winger.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Hannover 96 - Bundesliga Photo by A. Beier/Getty Images for FC Bayern

We rate each other highly. When he plays, I support him with all my heart. It’s no different the other way around. It’s important that everyone in the team gets along, and it’s worked out greatly for us. Both of us just want what’s best for the team.

Coman will be a vital player for Bayern in the second half of the season, and his performances will be a key to the club’s success in the Champions League. Hopefully with continued guidance from both Ribery and Heynckes, Coman will be able to reach new heights and establish himself as one of the top wingers in the world.