Tanguy Nianzou was a surprise inclusion into Bayern Munich’s squad on Saturday as they took on Union Berlin. With Niklas Süle out and Pavard unavailable, the 19-year-old Frenchman was given his second start of the season with a rare opportunity to impress Julian Nagelsmann as well as critics. He took full advantage of the opportunity with a strong defensive performance and his first goal for Bayern.
“He’s incredibly strong in the air, probably our strongest defender in the air, even on offense. Overall, I was very satisfied with Tanguy. You can see that he has a very good character, that he throws everything in. He has an unbelievable aggressiveness and a winning mentality that is extraordinary,” Nagelsmann said in his praise for the French defender (as captured by Sport1).
While Nagelsmann had great praise for Nianzou, he admitted that it would be difficult for Nianzou to insert himself in Munich’s main defensive core in the long run. Nagelsmann also stated that Bayern will make a signing for a central defender this summer, as most expected.
Lucas Hernández, Dayot Upamecano and Benjamin Pavard are currently the only three centre-backs planned for next season. Niklas Süle is leaving, while Tanguy Nianzou and Chris Richards' future remains uncertain. The search for another CB continues [@kerry_hau, @SPORT1]— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) March 14, 2022
As good as Nianzou’s performance was, it won’t change the fact that Bayern will sign a new central defender. Bayern have made it clear they are looking for a communicative leader, and Nianzou simply isn’t that player. But this match was certainly a step in the right direction for Bayern’s young center-back.