Hansi Flick and Hermann Gerland took charge of their first training session for Bayern Munich since Niko Kovac stepped down from his post as manager over the weekend. Because of the injuries to Niklas Sule and Lucas Hernandez and the upcoming red card suspension for Jerome Boateng, Flick and Gerland have called up U23 players Chris Richards and Derrick Köhn to the first team and they took part in today’s main training session with the rest of the squad (Sport1).
U23 manager Sebastian Hoeneß proudly watched on as his pair of defenders trained with the first team on the cold, wet pitch at Sabener Strasse. With the thin defensive options Flick and Gerland have, one of the two could be set to receive some minutes against Olympiacos and/or Borussia Dortmund.
In the pre-match press conference previewing Olympiacos, Flick revealed that both Benjamin Pavard and Javi Martinez would start in defense so that the squad can get used to playing without Boateng for the time being while he’s set to serve his two-match red card suspension in the Bundesliga starting this weekend. He also said that he plans on utilizing Joshua Kimmich in a midfield role against Olympiacos, which means there would be a spot to fill at right back for either Richards or Köhn, though Köhn is naturally a left back.
Both Richards and Köhn are regular features in Hoeneß’s back line for the U23’s and could both play on either side of Pavard and Martinez if Flick and Hermann decide that’s what needed from them. It goes without saying that it would be a massive opportunity for either player to make their senior squad debuts after impressing in the U23’s, which would be a testament to Bayern’s youth and academy programs. For what it’s worth, too, Lars Lukas Mai could also be in contention for a start, or at least some minutes against either Olympiacos or Dortmund.