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Julian Nagelsmann faces left back conundrum if Alphonso Davies isn’t fully fit for Bayern Munich’s opener

Phonzie’s back in training, but Nagelsmann might not want to risk him so soon after recovering from his ankle injury.

FC Bayern Muenchen - Training Session Photo by S. Widmann/Getty Images for FC Bayern

Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies was welcomed back to full team training earlier this week to a warm applause from the rest of the squad on the training pitch at Sabener Strasse.

As referenced in a recent report from Az, Nagelsmann has expressed some concerns in not wanting to risk Davies too early on: “Especially with injuries like Phonzie’s, you have to make sure that the ankle becomes stable again and you don’t throw it in too early. We’ll definitely get that to ‘Gladbach, but the question is with such a young player: How useful is that in the long run?”

It’s clear that he doesn’t want to risk further aggravating Davies’ ankle injury and that might mean he will not be in the starting lineup to take on Die Folhen.

If Davies is unable to start, Nagelsmann will likely have to decide between starting either Omar Richards or Josip Stanisic at left-back. If Nagelsmann had to make this decision several weeks ago, more towards the beginning of preseason, the decision would be a bit easier, and Richards would likely get the nod based on how positive he looked. However, there is an internal feeling amongst Nagelsmann and his coaching staff that the signing from Reading FC has taken a dip in form as preseason has progressed, per kicker (via FCBInside).

FC Bayern München v 1. FC Köln - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images

Specifically, there are concerns over Richards’ positional play. While he did look good going forward at times, there’s a feeling that he did so a bit too much and left far too much space open behind him, struggling to get back to the right positions in transition. Stanisic would be the sensible option if Nagelsmann has too many concerns with Richards’s positional play. Stanisic was supposed to be playing for Bayern’s reserves, but the amount of injuries to Bayern’s first team, especially in defense, warranted him training and playing with the first team during most of preseason.

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