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Guardiola: Muller will only get better

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has lauded Thomas Muller and believes the Germany forward will only get better in the years to come.

Muller has netted five goals in three Bundesliga appearances this term, and also scored three goals in two matches for his country during the international break.

Guardiola feels the versatile attacker still has room for improvement, though, and has warned that Muller’s best is yet to come.

“Muller has a lot of quality. His biggest strength is his optimism and opportunism,” Guardiola said at a press conference on Friday.

“He has an eye for goal. And he is still young. He will only get better.”

Guardiola then went on to discuss the situation of Mario Gotze, and stressed that the forward still has a role to play at the Allianz Arena.

“Gotze? I like to play with just one striker, but we have three great players for that position in Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze,” the Spaniard added.

“People should not forget that Mario played almost every game last term, except the Champions League games against Barcelona. Gotze is a great professional. It does not have anything to do with whether I value him whenever he does not play. I really like him.

“Could he play in a more withdrawn role? No, Mario cannot play like Xavi, Thiago or Xabi Alonso. He is much more attack minded.”

Guardiola will be without Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery in Saturday’s match against Augsburg and he has admitted that their absence forces him to change his tactics.

“Robben is one of the best wingers in the world. I hope he will be back within two to three weeks,” he continued.

“The situation is very different when we miss both Arjen and Ribery. We have to look at other options when they are not available. But it’s great that we now have alternatives like Douglas Costa.

“Kingsley Coman is still a bit shy, but we know his qualities. He is very fast. He could play against Augsburg.”

Guardiola also had his say on the return of Javi Martinez, who has made the match squad after a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to a knee injury.

The former Barcelona boss continued: “Javi Martinez is not at 100 per cent yet, but he has trained very well in the past few weeks. He is a fighter and does not know any fear.

“We currently only have Jerome Boateng available at centre-back, so Javi’s return is great news for us.”

Fri 11 Sep, 2015
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