It’s pretty safe to say that this has been Lucas Hernandez’s best season at Bayern Munich since joining the club from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2019 for Bayern’s record transfer fee of €80 million. When he first joined, Hernandez was still recovering from a long-term knee injury, but he was never able to hit his full stride under Niko Kovac or get consistent minutes ahead of Jerome Boateng, Niklas Sule, Benjamin Pavard, Alphonso Davies and Mats Hummels, before he went back to Borussia Dortmund.
This season, he’s played significantly more than he had in the 2019/2020 season under Kovac and Hansi Flick. This was typified by the immense shift he put in at the Parc de Princes in Bayern’s second leg win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champion League quarter finals, even though Bayern was still eliminated on away goals.
In a recent interview with French television outlet Canal+ (via Sport1), Hernandez reflected on this past season and also looked forward to a new chapter at Bayern under Julian Nagelsmann, who’s joining from RB Leipzig this summer. Of course, Hernandez echoed the complications of the end of last season and this season with how much football had to be played in really short spaces of time as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and reiterated how disappointed Bayern was to be knocked out of the DFB-Pokal and Champions League after securing the “sextuple.”
This season, Hernandez explained, he able to build up a lot of confidence by getting more consistent minutes and game time. “It’s true that I was able to play a bit more this season. I had the game time that I wanted since the start. Playing consecutive games gives me confidence, it proves that I’m back to full fitness and that I’m there,” he explained.
After some upcoming departures during the summer transfer window, there will be even more opportunity for consistent playing time and starting time for the French international. Dayot Upamecano will be joining from Leipzig, but with Javi Martinex, David Alaba, and Jerome Boateng all departing, that will open up far more room for Hernandez, and he’s well aware of that. “With the departure of David and Jérôme, I think I’ll play more games at center-back. It’s a position that I like and I’m used to. Next season will be a good one,” the 25-year-old said.
Nagelsmann is known to toy with his lineup formations, and he’s often switched between a back-three and a back-four at Leipzig. At Bayern, they’ve almost always played with a back-four system, so Hernandez is curious to see what Nagelsmann will do with the formations when he comes to Bayern. “He’s a young coach but already very experienced. He’s very known here in Germany. He always took his teams to the highest possible level, with Hoffenheim and Leipzig. This season with Hansi we played a back-four system. We don’t know yet how we’ll play next season, tactically how we’re going to attack and defend. It’s going to be a challenge for him (Nagelsmann) and going to be nice to see him do great things with us,” Hernandez explained.