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Bayern Munich’s Leon Goretzka “not happy” with bench role

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Leon Goretzka vented his frustration after scoring from the bench against Augsburg.

Bayern Munich’s Leon Goretzka Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images

MUNICH, GermanyLeon Goretzka’s goal for Bayern Munich in second-half stoppage time was what finally secured a hard-fought 2-0 over Augsburg in Allianz Arena on Sunday.

It came after he replaced Joshua Zirkzee in the second half, capping off a 20-minute appearance. It was his fourth appearance off the bench in Bayern’s last six games, with only one start coming in that span.

Talking to reporters after Sunday’s game, Goretzka seemed to indicate that he is not satisfied with his current role.

“It’s hard, because I am in good form right now, maybe the best form of my career to date,” Goretzka said. “Of course I’m not happy when I am not starting. I can say openly and honestly that I’m not happy.”

Bayern coach Hansi Flick seemed to take an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to Saturday’s lineup, fielding the same team that played against Hoffenheim the weekend before. Goretzka played all 90 minutes in Bayern’s 1-0 cup win over Schalke, one of only two changes Flick made to his team.

He also missed Bayern’s 3-2 win over Paderborn with a muscular issue, not boarding the team bus as it headed to the stadium before the game.

The 25-year-old midfielder said he has talked with Flick about his situation, but those conversations will remain private.

“At the end of the day, I need to accept that it’s the coach’s decision. He’s putting a team on the field that he thinks has the best chance to win,” Goretzka said. “Like I said, it’s something I need to accept, and something I’ve experienced before. I just need to put aside my frustration, work hard, keep myself in form and take the chances when they arise.”

“I need to produce good results and then I will warrant a spot in the starting lineup,” he added.

Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said that he understands Goretzka’s disappointment, but their conversations need to remain in-house.

“When he is on the field and plays like he did today, then he can voice his dissatisfaction,” Salihamidzic said.