Bayern Munich introduced one of its new signings this morning, former VfB Stuttgart defender and 2018 Word Cup-winner for France, Benjamin Pavard. Seated with Bayern sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidzic, Pavard was eager to get his career with the Bavarians in motion.
Given Pavard’s ability to play both center-back, right-back, and defensive midfielder, the 23-year-old stated he had no preference where he lined up and would do what was asked of him by the coach. Surely, this was music to the ears of Niko Kovac. Pavard said,
It’s a great honor to play for Bayern. The coach sets up the team; I’ll play anywhere. Whether on the outside, in central defense or on the six. The coach decides.
Salihamidzic is excited to bring a player who offers such tactical flexibility to the squad.
Pavard is a player who can be used flexibly, can play inside and outside. He brings playing intelligence, anticipation, readiness, and good technique. I’m one hundred percent convinced that he can take the next step in his career with us.
When the subject shifted to VfB Stuttgart’s struggles last season, Pavard insisted that he is not accustomed to team-based failures as the team was relegated to 2.Bundesliga.
No, I’m also used to winning games with the French national team. I came here to win titles and I think we’ll do it, too. Things were difficult at Stuttgart, but that does not scare me.
The timing of Pavard’s transfer also became a topic as well. After winning the World Cup, Pavard opted to play out another season with Stuttgart despite persistent rumors linking him to Bayern, rather than immediately push for a transfer to the Rekordmeister. Pavard seemed extremely comfortable with that choice. He said,
I wanted it that way. We became world champions and you’re really exhausted after that — mentally and physically. Thanks to Stuttgart, I was able to become a world champion and therefore it was logical for me to stay one more year. In addition, you learn how to face adversity. You learns from defeats, and also from victories.
Through the tough times he endured last season at Stuttgart, Pavard also came to a realization that his future was headed in the right direction.
Bayern is the best club for me.
Although he already knows Lucas Hernandez, Kingsley Coman, and Corentin Tolisso from their French international connection, Pavard formally met the rest of his teammates for the first time today as he trained with the full squad.