If it was the Champions League final Alaba would play – Guardiola

The Austria international has been absent since November but is ready to return, with his coach labelling him an “outstanding player”

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola is relishing David Alaba’s return to action following his two-month lay-off with a knee injury.

The Austria international tore the medial ligament and damaged the meniscus in his right knee during Bayern’s 2-0 Champions League victory over Roma in November.

Alaba returned to training earlier this month, though, and the full-back could return when Bayern are back in Bundesliga action at Wolfsburg on January 30 following the mid-season break.

Guardiola stated the importance of Alaba to the German champions and hailed his consistent level of performance.

“If tomorrow was the Champions League final he would play,” Guardiola said.

“We ask him every day how his knee is, everything is great. 

“With him we are a better team, he can play anywhere. He is outstanding.

“On a scale of one to 10, he has always been an eight or a nine, sometimes 10. He is one of the most important players for Bayern Munich.”

Guardiola also confirmed that Javi Martinez has yet to start working with the ball as he recovers from a long-term knee injury, while stating his hope that centre-back Mehdi Benatia will recover from a back complaint in time for the Wolfsburg fixture.

“For him [Benatia] it [the back injury] is a pity,” he added. “His condition has already improved. We still have two weeks.”

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