??Bayern Munich manager Niko Kova? has insisted that he will ‘try to integrate’ Renato Sanches at Bayern, even though the young Portugal star didn’t feature in a single match for the Bundesliga giants last season.
Speaking at his first news conference as Bayern manager – and ?quoted by AOL – Kova? was full of praise for Sanches.
“There is no question that he has qualities, he showed that before and that’s why Bayern signed him,” said Kova?, adding: “I am excited to work with him, because he has qualities you don’t see very often in the Bundesliga.”
Sanches was signed by Bayern for €35m in May 2016. He also excelled in the European Championship that same year, earning the Young Player of the Tournament award as Portugal became European champions for the first time.
However, he struggled to make an impression in his first season in the Bundesliga, making just 17 Bundesliga appearances and earning an unwanted accolade from Lothar Matthäus – the former Bayern and Germany legend slammed Sanches as one of the three worst players of the season.
Things went from bad to worse last season, as the Portuguese didn’t play for Bayern at all. Instead, he was loaned to ?Swansea City, where he made just 15 appearances in all competitions, as he struggled for form and suffered with hamstring trouble.
Kova? acknowledged that the 20-year-old has had erratic start to his career.
“He is a young player and young players fluctuate now and again, that is completely normal,” he explained, adding: “On the other hand he is from another country, so you have to understand if he doesn’t integrate in no time at all.”
Kova? was also quick to reassure Sanches that he hasn’t given up on him: “I will try to integrate him, so that he will be comfortable around here, because when someone feels comfortable, it is much easier to make a good performance.”