After making a handful of starts towards to beginning of the season for Bayern Munich, Lucas Hernandez has been predominantly relegated to a substitute’s role for Hansi Flick in recent weeks.
Of course, his increase in playing time towards the beginning stages of the campaign was largely aided by Alphonso Davies’s ankle injury, but based on the performances he’s put forth, Hernandez is certainly expecting to be playing more. He’s come off the bench for Bayern’s last four matches across all competitions and his frustration was typified when Javi Martinez was brought on for the injured Jerome Boateng last weekend against Borussia Dortmund instead of him.
Per a report from Sport1, there was a suggestion that there were some voices within Bayern that wanted to sell Hernandez over the summer since the €80 million Atletico Madrid man had not been living up to his price tag. On paper, before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic last year, selling Hernandez might have been an an option worth exploring, but now that finances have taken a massive hit, it’s probably for the better that Flick and Hasan Salihamidzic decided to keep hold of him.
What’s also working in Hernandez’s favor moving forward is the imminent departures of David Alaba, Javi Martinez, and Jerome Boateng. The trio of Bayern veterans are expected to leave the club during this summer’s transfer window and even with the arrival of Dayot Upamecano from RB Leipzig, his chances of getting more playing time would still increase. He would be competing form minutes with Upamecano and Niklas Sule, but Hernandez also possesses the ability to play at left back as we’ve seen, so he can also fill in for Davies at that position.
All things considered, too, even if he hasn’t been playing as much as of late, Flick was always been vociferous with his support of Hernandez. Earlier in the season, Flick had said, “he’s a real fighter. His attitude is insane.” Flick has always been a fan of his fighting spirit and willingness to put the team first. Of course, that hasn’t exactly resulted in more minutes for the French World Cup winner, but it bodes well for him that Flick always speaks highly of him. Not to mention, he could really help next season with communication along with compatriots Kingsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso and Benjamin Pavard in getting Upamecano integrated with the squad.