So far this season, Hansi Flick has primarily used Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting as a backup striker for Robert Lewandowski or a central attacking midfielder just behind Lewandowski, especially during the absence of Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry. However, for Bayern Munich’s 5-1 win over FC Köln, Flick started Choupo-Moting on the left wing, opposite of Leroy Sane on the right wing while Gnabry, Muller, and Kingsley Coman started from the bench.
This was the third consecutive start for Choupo-Moting, but only his first start from the wing. He had come on once before for only four minutes in Bayern’s 1-0 win over Hertha Berlin on the wing when he replaced Coman late on. After the match, Flick explained his rationale for starting Choupo-Moting from the left wing and a big part of the decision was to give Coman some rest as he wasn’t quite feeling 100% (kicker). “Kingsley Coman has played a lot of games in the last few weeks and almost always for full time. He didn’t feel right at 100 percent, so we discussed that and decided to let Choupo play,” Flick explained.
Flick also went on to say that he had full confidence in Choupo-Moting occupying the wide role since he’s done it for some of his previous clubs, most recently Paris Saint-Germain before joining Bayern. “He’s played that in his previous clubs. If there is a bottleneck, he can play this position. I was pleased that he made it 1-0, which was very important at the time. There were perhaps a couple of easy ball losses, it’s a good game overall and a deserved win,” Flick had said with his assessment of Choupo-Moting and the result overall.
With Der Klassiker against Borussia Dortmund looming large next weekend, it’s hard to imagine that Choupo-Moting would keep his spot in the starting lineup for Bayern. Now that Gnabry is back fit, Muller is back fit, and Coman was given a rest this weekend, Flick will have more options available next weekend. Most of his recent minutes had been aided by the illness of Muller and injuries to both Gnabry and Douglas Costa. Still, though, Flick will be pleased that he was able to get an impact from the PSG loanee and he will still play a vital role as Bayern pushes for the Bundesliga and Champions League titles.