Update: 1:20PM EST — De Ligt working back into shape, could start this weekend
According to a report from Bild, Bayern Munich defender Matthijs de Ligt could be setting himself up for a spot in the starting XI:
In the training match on Tuesday, he already took the defensive chief role: Nagelsmann put him in a team with Davies, Pavard and Upamecano — a possible chain also for the game against Wolfsburg on Sunday. Does it mean playing in this week for the new defensive boss?
In training, De Ligt seemed top motivated as always, made a good impression in the “A-chain.” De Ligt is getting closer and closer, Nagelsmann already made clear last week: “He will be an incredibly important player for us. Just the way he coaches in every action in training. But he still needs some time.”
But it’s also clear that even FC Bayern won’t bring in a defender for up to 77 million in transfer fees to be a reserve — so it’s quite possible that the new Dutch star will make his starting debut on Sunday...
A quick training update from the journalists staking out the Säbener Straße, as collected by @iMiaSanMia. It’s a quiet start to the week for Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann’s crew, who enjoyed two days off after the big 6-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt on opening day, so the full team are just getting back into action on Tuesday. But it was a chance to get a glimpse at individual players working up to fitness.
Tuesday’s session had nearly everyone, but one player had a curious move to individual training
Bayern Munich had everyone at training except Leon Goretzka, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, and Paul Wanner. While Goretzka and Choupo-Moting were expected, Wanner warmed up with the squad then shifted to individual training. There was no word on why that was the case:
The team completed a 2-hour session today as they begin the preparation for Sunday's game vs. Wolfsburg. Everyone was fully involved except Goretzka (knee surgery), Choupo-Moting (individual rehab training) and Wanner (individual training after warming up with the team) [@kicker]— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) August 9, 2022
Not listed above, but also absent was Bouna Sarr.
Bayern had a couple of days off to start the week
After returning from Frankfurt on Saturday, Julian Nagelsmann gave his players Sunday and Monday off. The preparation for the next game against Wolfsburg will begin on Tuesday [@BILD]— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) August 7, 2022
Choupo-Moting, who is coming off a recent adductor injury, is in an odd position. Choupo’s role with the team this year will be one to watch. He ably deputized for two seasons under Robert Lewandowski, but has find his qualities more niche than in vogue of late under Nagelsmann’s change-up attack.
However, that might make his role more valuable — as the bench player who can uniquely offer a tactical shift back to a box striker, for occasions when a big target for crosses is needed.
De Ligt still working back into shape
Matthijs de Ligt is still putting in the work to get ready:
There’s something about Italian football, isn’t there? The super center-back has been plying his trade in Serie A, and like many others before him, has arrived in Bavaria to find a new standard of fitness. In the long run, the intensity of the tactics should suit De Ligt’s play, but in the short-term, sounds like he’s got plenty of work to do. That’s giving time for a resurgent Dayot Upamecano to run away with the starting job in the early going.
Kingsley Coman, of course, missed the opener due to a red card from last season that earned him a three-game suspension — the same reason he won’t be available this weekend for VfL Wolfsburg, either. So he hasn’t had as much game time to recover from, nor 17-year-old Mathys Tel, who did earn a big show of faith by being an early (65’) substitution last Friday.
Tel’s position in the forward line is fairly straightforward but Coman’s is going to be interesting. He was a nigh-undroppable width provider last season, playing to his strengths stretching the field and taking on players one-on-one. Will Coman transition to become more of a goal-scorer, using his pace to make runs in behind? — or perhaps develop the creative side to his game as one of the attacking midfielders working the half-spaces?
We’ll have to wait at least one more week to find out.
No days off for Mané
Finally, of course Sadio Mané was not taking the day off:
(Take it easy, Sadio, rest is important, too!)