With the severely truncated nature of footballing calendars across Europe this season because of the coronavirus, strength in depth has become increasingly vital for continued success. Coming off of securing the treble last season, Hansi Flick has really made use of the depth in Bayern Munich’s squad so far this season and he’s had to deal with his fair share of injuries. It’s an incredibly difficult task to try and find the balance with squad rotations, but Flick has been able to get it right, for the most part.
Speaking in the press conference previewing Bayern’s match against Union Berlin this weekend, Flick provided some insight into some of his recent personnel decisions (Tz). For starters, it’s safe to say that we’ve yet to a Leroy Sane that’s firing on all cylinders at Bayern after finally completing his move from Manchester City this summer. Flick recognizes that it’s going to take some time for the winger to hit his full stride at Bayern, having come back from a serious injury.
“He’s had a serious injury and another one. It’s similar to Coman,” said Flick. “You need to have faith in the body. That requires tests. Trust has to come back. I experience him as a very self-critical player and person who has made a good development. I see a huge improvement, that’s why he’s going to get the games.”
Alphonso Davies also marked his return to action in Bayern’s midweek win over Lokomotiv Moscow in the last group stage match in the Champions League. The Canadian had been out with an ankle injury since the end of October, which he suffered in the beginning of Bayern’s 5-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
Against Lokomotiv, Phonzie looked like his usual self at left back using his blistering pace in typical Davies fashion down the left channel. Despite having lost out on minutes to Lucas Hernandez in the beginning stages of the season, Flick realizes how important it is to have Davies back fit again.
“He tears gaps well, even on the defensive he can always run balls,” Flick remarked. “This speed is good for every team. There is no internal ranking with Lucas Hernandez in this position. This is decided anew for each game.”
It’s hard to argue against the fact that Kingsley Coman is the most in form winger at FC Bayern right now. The French international has scored five goals and has provided seven assists from a total of 12 appearances across all competitions. He’s been one of Bayern’s most consistent performers in attack alongside Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller. Flick had high praise for his ability to turn defense into attack with his pace and guile going forward.
“Ultimately, it’s about trusting your body and your ability,” said Flick. “He does well on the defensive and immediately goes into counter-pressing after losing the ball. He currently also has many goal participations. For me he is one of the best in the winger position.”
Flick has also tapped into some of the youth amongst Bayern’s squad. He’s called upon players like Chris Richards and Jamal Musiala to come on in important matches in both the Bundesliga and Champions League. Both youngsters have shone quite well for themselves in the opportunities they’ve been given.
“It’s important to have U-23 players who can help out from time to time. All players who are there like Richards, Musiala and company make a good development,” Flick stated. “The talents are on the right track and the coaching team has great fun when the development goes ahead.”