Over the past week, Bayern Munich center-back Niklas Süle has become a bit of a lightning rod for rumors.
Is he injured? Is he fit? Is he out of shape? Is the coaching staff unhappy with Süle’s performance or mentality?
No one really knows at this stage, but during his weekly press conference Hansi Flick briefly addressed the noise surrounding his 25-year-old defender. Even in doing that, though, Flick did not commit to Süle traveling with the team to square off against VfB Stuttgart tomorrow.
“We’ll wait until after the final training and then we’ll decide who will travel,” said Flick (as captured by FCBayern.com). “I’ve said everything about that. There is nothing to read into it. He gets support from all of us. He has uncanny qualities, but to reach his full potential he needs the necessary fitness.”
The situation is certainly bizarre and assuredly there is something going between Süle and the club, but hopefully it can be resolved soon. With its defense not exactly sturdy, Bayern Munich could use an in-form and in-shape Süle to bolster the back-line.
Per Sport1, though, the defensive lapses are not just limited to the squad’s defenders. The German outlet is reporting that Flick is “currently disturbed by the defensive weaknesses of his players.”
More, the report specifically stated that Flick is unhappy with offensive players like Leroy Sane, who don’t always fully commit to defending:
Flick also gets angry when offensive players trivialize the game against the ball — like Sané. This is one reason why the record transfer of the summer is in the waiting line behind Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry despite fantastic joker goals.
When the ball is lost, Flick expects a quick and consistent counter-pressing. Kimmich displayed this up to his injury like no other. Now others must jump into the gap and transition as quickly as possible, which Flick demands of them defensively.
Flick specifically addressed Sane at his press conference as well.
“He is 100% fit,” said Flick. “His efficiency is very good. But like many others, he had some unnecessary ball losses against Salzburg and did not follow through in one-on-ones. But there are reasons for that and we talked about that. He will try to do better in the next few games. But when he plays there is always momentum and he is always good for a goal. It is clear that he still needs something, but he gets the time. We are very satisfied.”
Whatever the case, it is clear that Flick wants to see more consistency in defending from his boys. Hopefully, the Bavarians are able to show their manager just that tomorrow.