Lucas Hernandez started and put in solid shifts in three of Bayern Munich’s four matches across all competitions thus far; the 8-0 win over Schalke in the Bundesliga opener, the 2-1, extra time win over Sevilla in the UEFA Supercup, and the 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund in the DFL-Supercup. The DFL-Supercup was arguably his best performance of the three, and in the one match he didn’t play in, Bayern lost 4-1 to Hoffenheim in the league.
Speaking about his French defender after the DFL-Supercup win over Dortmund (via SPOX), Hansi Flick described Hernandez as an “absolute fighter.” “Lucas is an absolute fighter and is doing us very well, especially in games like this. He also has a certain degree of toughness that is needed in games like this,” Flick said after the French international had put in a sound shift against a pacey, clever Dortmund attack spearheaded by Marco Reus and Erling Haaland. Per Opta stats, he was Bayern’s highest rated players of the match, having won 83% of his duels and also boasted a pass completion rate of 86%. Not to mention, he’s been deployed as both a center back and left back so far this season and has shone well in both spots.
“He didn’t have the games that he is getting now. I’m happy with him and I think he arrived,” Flick continued. All things considered, it really is the perfect time for Hernandez to really come to fruition at Bayern, especially since he’s had a difficult time in Munich since joining from Atletico Madrid for 80-million euros, which was a club record transfer fee prior to Leroy Sane joining from Manchester City. Jerome Boateng is aging and struggles with muscular injuries, Niklas Sule still isn’t fully fit coming back from his cruciate ligament injury, and David Alaba has dealt with the off-field distraction of his contract situation. All of these contributing factors make it the perfect time for Hernandez to really start to hit his full stride at Bayern.
As someone who’s struggled with injuries throughout his career, it was especially refreshing to see Hernandez fully express his pace and robustness in the Supercup win over Dortmund. There were a handful of occasions where he had to sprint back on recovery runs to breakup Dortmund counter attacks against the pace of Haaland, Reus, and/or Julian Brandt. With more minutes and more opportunities under Flick, this could be a breakthrough season for Hernandez at Bayern.