The Bayern professionals in training. On Thursday evening they play in the DFB Cup against 1. FC Düren. Bild: imago images/Lackovic
He was about to change: Flick explains why Bayern star is staying
FC Bayern Munich will face 1. FC Düren from the Middle Rhine League in the first round of the DFB Cup on Thursday evening.
While the other clubs passed the first competition hurdle around a month ago, the great FC Ruhmreich enjoys special treatment. Due to the high load from the Champions League final tournament in Lisbon at the end of August, the record champions from Munich got an extra date for their first round match against the fifth division side.
Despite this grace period – and despite four last-minute transfers – Bayern coach Hansi Flick is faced with a large personal puzzle. Most of the national players are out because they are just returning from their international trips. Tanguy Nianzou (with thighs) and Leroy Sané (with knees) are injured. Replenishing the team with U23 players is only allowed to a certain extent.
Flick is all the happier that a player who was already sitting on his suitcase on Säbener Strasse has now stayed with FC Bayern. Javi Martínez, who has been in Munich for eight years, contract until 2021, actually flirted with a renewed engagement in his Basque homeland, wanted to switch back to Athletic Bilbao. From there, the 18-time national player of Spain moved to Bayern in August 2012 for the then record sum of 40 million euros. An offer from Al-Nasr Riyadh is said to have been made for the 32-year-old 1.92-meter man.
In the Uefa Supercup, Javi Martínez headed the winning goal shortly after being substituted on in extra time. Image: Reuters / POOL
But now the transfer window is closed and Martínez is still there.
According to Flick, there wasn’t even one of the rumored offers from Saudi Arabia or Spain: “If you want to go anywhere, you first have to have offers”, he revealed at the press conference on Wednesday before the game against Düren, when asked about Martínez’s situation. Flick added: “At least there was no one where he said: ‘I want to leave Bayern Munich.'”
But Flick is not only happy that Martínez is still there, because as a coach he now and then has a professional more at his disposal, who heads a Uefa Supercup winning goal here and there. The triple coach also emphasized how important the defensive ace, who can defend centrally and clear away in midfield, is for the team structure.
Came from Espanyol Barcelona: Marc Roca at his presentation in Munich. Image: Reuters / POOL
Flick can currently no longer offer Martínez a regular place, but he should still play an important role this season: “Javi is a very experienced player and has been in Munich for a long time, he can be of great help to Marc Roca”said Flick, who is apparently betting that he will facilitate Roca’s integration, explaining the club to him.
There are even some parallels between Martínez and summer newcomer Roca: Both Spaniards moved from their home country to Munich as reigning U21 European champions at the age of 23, both playing in the central midfield. Martínez, however, is more of a physically strong destroyer, while Roca is considered to be technically good, who also sets accents in the game structure.
“Hopefully he will step in for one or the other and then be able to call up his performance”said Flick on “Eurosport” about Roca. Javi Martínez’s job profile for the coming season sounds similar. One more thing in common.
It is quite possible that both will add another on Thursday evening: Both will be in the starting line-up against Düren.
(as / with material from sid)
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