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Mats Hummels lauds Renato Sanches’s performances vs. FC Augsburg and Benfica

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Sanches started and put in solid shifts in both matches, and Hummels took notice.

SL Benfica v FC Bayern Munchen - UEFA Champions League - Group E
LISBON, PORTUGAL - SEPTEMBER 19: Goal scorer Renato Sanches of Bayern Munchen congratulated by teammates at the end of the UEFA Champions League Group E match between SL Benfica and FC Bayern Munchen at Estadio da Luz on September 19, 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal.
SL Benfica v FC Bayern Munchen - UEFA Champions League - Group E LISBON, PORTUGAL - SEPTEMBER 19: Goal scorer Renato Sanches of Bayern Munchen congratulated by teammates at the end of the UEFA Champions League Group E match between SL Benfica and FC Bayern Munchen at Estadio da Luz on September 19, 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal.
(Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)

Renato Sanches earned his second start of the season in Bayern Munich’s 1-1 draw vs. FC Augsburg, just over a week after his strong outing against his former club, SL Benfica, in the Champions League. Niko Kovac has repeatedly stressed that he wants Sanches to find renewed success with Bayern, and he’s giving the Portuguese midfielder all the right opportunities.

Speaking after Bayern’s 1-1 draw against Augsburg (via SportBild), in which Sanches played the entire match, center-back Mats Hummels commented on Sanches’s very positive contributions to the matches both against Augsburg and Benfica:

He’s distinguished by his momentum. He’s someone in the midfield who can shake off an opponent and run with the ball with pace. We don’t have that so often on our team. If he can contribute that, then he’ll be very valuable for us. He did that very well in Lisbon and today.

While he might have been keeping a purposefully diplomatic tone, Hummels just about hit the nail on the head with how he summarized Sanches’s two performances. As Sanches showed on Tuesday night vs. Augsburg, he has the ability to use his strength and speed to get around defenders to create space, but the final product just wasn’t there — yet.

Sanches led the match with the most shots (5), but only two were on target. Additionally, Sanches boasted a pass success rate of 95%, the second-highest behind Augsburg’s Sergio Cordova. He’s doing the right things to put himself into the right positions, but his composure in front of goal certainly has some room to grow. In Hummels’s words,

He himself created almost all of his (scoring) chances outstandingly with his irresistible surges. But obviously, at the end of the day, one of them has to go in.

FC Bayern Muenchen v FC Augsburg - Bundesliga
MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 25: Renato Sanches of Bayern Muenchen runs with the ball during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and FC Augsburg at Allianz Arena on September 25, 2018 in Munich, Germany.
Sanches in possession during Bayern Munich vs. FC Augsburg.
(Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)