We are a few days into January and after a return to the Bundesliga, it will soon be that time of the year when people go through a rollercoaster of emotions, featuring the likes of love, contempt, indifference and more; anxiety is at peak and sleepless nights become part and parcel of life —
Valentines’ Day the Champions League Round of 16.
Unfortunately, Bayern Munich have found themselves experiencing all this a lot earlier. Devastating injuries at the backline, the fear of a thinning squad and a congested fixture list, coupled with the fears of mediocrity, the excitement associated with the return of Bavarian football has perhaps waned. The absences of Lucas Hernandez, Manuel Neuer and Noussair Mazraoui, all those who held a commanding presence in the Bavarian defense are surely reasons for worry. However, Matthijs de Ligt feels otherwise.
In an interview at the Winter Training Camp in Doha (as transcribed by @iMiaSanMia), De Ligt explained that though the injuries are difficult, the present quality is capable of compensating for the absences, additionally citing the new addition in Daley Blind.
“Manuel Neuer and Lucas Hernández’s injuries are difficult for us as a team. They both have a very high quality. But we have a lot of quality players. We also have a good new signing in Daley. We work every day to get better. Our goals are the same,” De Ligt said.
He then spoke on the training camp and his fitness, stating that he is in good condition and hopes that he can take the same into the forthcoming games.
The Dutch defender also had praise for Dayot Upamecano, who had an excellent set of performances in the World Cup for France and further spoke of their excellent chemistry.
“We’re playing well together. He is a very good centre-back and played a very good World Cup. He is very fast, very strong in duels. Our qualities complement each other well,” the 23-year-old enthused.
The ability of the present Bayern team in showing Paris-Saint Germain the exit door from European football with this present team may be in doubt, but the attitude of the players remains as strong as ever — and De Ligt’s confidence in the team is undoubtedly valuable. One can only hope Bayern can head back into their winning ways as soon as they start playing.