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Julian Nagelsmann trusts Tanguy Nianzou to play a bigger role at Bayern Munich

Nianzou’s chances have come few and far between at Bayern, but Nagelsmann still holds him in high regard.

FC Bayern München v 1. FSV Mainz 05 - Bundesliga Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images

In recent weeks, Tanguy Nianzou has benefitted from Niklas Sule’s absence from Bayern Munich’s squad. He’s started the last three Bundesliga matches against Union Berlin, SC Freiburg, and Augsburg, but was on the bench for the 1-0 loss at Villarreal in the Champions League quarter-finals first leg. Prior to this recent run of league matches, Nianzou had only started four previous matches across all competitions, as he predominantly comes on as a sub late in matches, if he’s used at all.

Nianzou’s first season at Bayern after joining from Paris Saint-Germain was plagued by injury problems and he was never really able to gain any sort of foothold in the squad under Hansi Flick. Dayot Upamecano’s arrival from RB Leipzig this summer along with Julian Nagelsmann hasn’t made matters any easier for Nianzou’s prospects of getting more minutes, but with Niklas Sule’s departure on the horizon, Nagelsmann still trusts that Nianzou will play a “bigger role” at the club.

“I really trust him because he’s a very good defender. I like it very, very much when someone does justice to their job title,” Nagelsmann said of Nianzou last week ahead of the first leg against Villarreal (Abendzeitung). Nianzou did not play a part in that particular match, but Nagelsmann added that he “always comes up with good ideas when it comes to building up the game,” but sometimes just has to “reduce the risk a bit so that he brings the necessary reliability to the pitch and a coach also knows what to expect from him.”

Sport-Club Freiburg v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by S. Mellar/FC Bayern via Getty Images

While he was full of praise for the 19-year-old defender, Nagelsmann also said that Nianzou needs to work on being a bit better not conceding free kicks so close to Bayern’s goal that creates dangerous situations for their opponents. He likes Nianzou’s aggressiveness, but sometimes the “calf biting” gets Bayern into a bit of trouble at the back. “Sometimes he has to be a bit more gentle when biting his calf towards his own goal than towards the opposing goal so that the risk of standard situations or penalties is not too great,” he said, adding he will “play a much bigger role than was the case this year.”

With Upamecano, Lucas Hernandez, Alphonso Davies, and Benjamin Pavard still in the ranks for next season after Sule leaves for Borussia Dortmund, it will still be tough for Nianzou to find consistent minutes in the squad. However, there still hasn’t been confirmation of a direct replacement for Sule, but Bayern does seem to be closing in on acquiring Ryan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui from Ajax, with the suggestion that Pavard might be asked to play a center back’s role most of next season as opposed to right back, which is Mazraoui’s position. Either way, Nianzou will still have to work incredibly hard on improving his craft if he wants to see more minutes than he has this season or last.

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