After two forgetful seasons, Renato Sanches finally showed in the first half of the season why he was bought from SL Benfica. Sanches has had many good moments over the past months and has continued his good form in Doha. But as Bayern fought to get out of their crisis, it also meant that Niko Kovač put an end to rotation policy. Since then Sanches’s playing time has been significantly shortened. In an interview with Sport1, Sanches discussed his current situation at Bayern Munich and his future.
Given Bayern’s strong squad, Sanches often has to sit on the bench, but he is understanding. After all, he acknowledged, there are a lot of players and you have to adapt. He explains further,
I’m happy, but of course I want to play more. I feel good. I’m ready to play and be a good player.
The situation for the Portuguese international is not simple. On the one hand, he has a great coach Niko Kovač, who managed to make a better player out of him and gave him much-needed and promised playing time. He managed to score 1 goal and assist 3 times in 16 competitive matches. On the other hand, he has still not made his big breakthrough. Sanches and Kovač are mutually satisfied, in his view:
The coach is doing his job. If I play well, he of course can be happy with me, and if I play poorly, the opposite. The coach is satisfied with me, however, because I feel ready at this moment and am playing well.
Sanches has changed since his return to Munich, where he initially struggled. Even he notices that he has more confidence than ever:
Yeah, it’s a different feeling. Everything is different. I’m now at a different age, have more experience, and know what’s important.
But, he also added some worrying information. He is unsure of his Bayern future. Sanches candidly raised the prospect of leaving the club if it were in his best interest — presumably, so that he can play more regularly:
I’d simply like the best for me, and if it’s best to stay, then I’ll stay. If it’s the best for me to go, then I’ll go. When you’re playing, you feel happy, and I want to play and feel happy, because soccer makes me happy.
It will be interesting to see how Sanches continues to develop, and whether Niko Kovač will hear his plea for more playing time. Despite the fact he is under contract until 2021, it’s not entirely impossible to see him departing Allianz Arena, although it would be a great loss for Bayern.
For now, Sanches is focused on the second half of the season, for which Bayern have set ambitious goals — to close the six-point lead by league leaders Borussia Dortmund:
Dortmund is a very good team currently. But we still have lots of games in the Bundesliga and we’ll see in the Rückrunde who’ll be champion.
Only time will tell what will happen with Sanches’s future, but we can all hope that he will continue to develop and that he’ll be rewarded for it with better playing time.