Bayern Munich center-back Niklas Süle has made astounding progress in his return from a devastating knee injury that occurred last October. Hansi Flick, however, still thinks that Süle has some work to do until he is back at 100%.
“Niklas is coming back from an injury and is gradually getting into form,” Flick said at his weekly press conference (as captured by Tz). “Jerome (Boateng) and David (Alaba) are used to playing together from last season. They harmonize on the back line differently. We still have to get that with Niklas. Sometimes it’s not quite perfect when you have to provide cover or hold the line. He is coming back from a serious injury, but I am optimistic that he’s on the right track.”
Though Süle’s progress in his recovery to date should be lauded, Flick has a unique insight into what he expects to see from the 25-year-old. Undoubtedly, the manager has taken a deep dive into Süle’s recent form and found some finer points of the Germany international’s performance that he would like to see improved.
Interestingly, when Flick spoke about his corps of center-backs, Lucas Hernandez was not referenced as part of that rotation. Perhaps Flick was limiting his assessment to the three primary center-backs or maybe Flick is viewing Hernandez strictly as a left-back at this stage?
At least for the immediate future, Hernandez and Alaba are the only potential left-backs listed for the first team roster as Alphonso Davies nurses his way back from a ligament injury to his ankle. It seems as if Flick would prefer to keep Hernandez on the left defensive flank, at least for the time being.
Regardless, the 55-year-old seems eager to have all three of his primary options at center-back aligned and able to seamlessly integrate with one another.