In a sudden and shocking turn of events, Bayern Munich center-back Jerome Boateng had to abruptly leave Qatar upon learning of the death of his ex-girlfriend Kasia Lenhardt prior to his team’s championship match against Tigres UANL.
Given the sensitive and personal nature of Boateng’s absence, Bayern Munich will give the veteran defender as much time off as he needs. In a show of support, the Bavarians will allow Boateng to determine his own timetable for a return per Sport1 journalist Florian Plettenberg:
Update #Boateng: It is up to him when he returns to the pitch. The club wants to support him and they want to give him all the time he needs to come to terms with the private blow of fate. A possible contract extension is to be discussed in the spring. @SPORT1 #FCBayern— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) February 12, 2021
Boateng’s absence can be accounted for fairly easily by Hansi Flick. With Niklas Süle showing that he is in good form, Flick will be able to provide ample coverage for Boateng, while the 32-year-old deals with his such personal matters.
While the team’s schedule is hectic, center-back is one area where the club has quality depth. Should Boateng be out for an extended period, Benjamin Pavard could also slide into right center-back if needed. Left-footers David Alaba and Lucas Hernandez could also slide over in a pinch as well.