Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Martinez: Wagner an uncomfortable opponent, like Mandzukic

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 3 Jan 2018

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Bayern Munich’s new signing Sandro Wagner has been compared to Mario Mandzukic by his new team-mate Javi Martinez.

Mandzukic played for Bayern between 2012 and 2014 before moving to Juventus, for whom he scored a stunning goal in their 2017 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.

Wagner signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at the Bundesliga champions after a reported fee of €12million was paid to Hoffenheim to sign the 30-year-old.

And Martinez believes Wagner, like Mandzukic, can add a fresh dimension to Bayern’s attacking play, although he is likely to play a back-up role to Robert Lewandowski.

“He reminds me of Mario Mandzukic,” Martinez told Bild.

“Whenever I had to play against Sandro, I knew: ‘Man, today it will be uncomfortable!’ 

“He is one of the players you do not want to be an opponent, but rather have in your own team.”

Martinez also expressed surprise at the return to Bayern of veteran coach Jupp Heynckes, who has steered the club to an 11-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga.

“I could not believe it at first, I thought the coach was retired,” Martinez said of Carlo Ancelotti’s successor.

“He knows exactly my strengths and weaknesses. In the first training after my return, he put me in the number six position.

“It was clear: I’ll play my position again. It makes me feel good.”

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