Julian Nagelsmann hailed Serge Gnabry’s unique ability as Bayern Munich prepare to face Dynamo Kiev in Wednesday’s Champions League clash.
Bayern crushed Barcelona 3-0 in their Group E opener and have won the most games (20), while scoring the most goals (73) across the last three Champions League campaigns.
Robert Lewandowski has been directly involved in 27 goals in his last 17 appearances in the competition and has ended on the winning side in all 17 games, the joint-longest run of wins by a player in the tournament’s history.
However, Nagelsmann preferred to focus on Gnabry, who has scored three and assisted twice this term, ahead of the visit of Dynamo.
“I didn’t do anything with [Gnabry] consciously and didn’t have that many conversations,” Nagelsmann told reporters on Tuesday when asked about Gnabry’s form.
“I’ve known him for a long time, if not as long as Niki [Niklas Sule]. We already had a good connection in Hoffenheim and it works properly.
“For me, he is very important as a type, he brings in a good mood. In terms of play, he is of course also important, he has a good degree, a good feeling and good ideas.
“The player with quality in connection with the character, I look forward to seeing him every day.
“I see it that he has to be free and not think too much about what he is doing. He does a lot about instinct and has the street footballer gene.”
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) September 28, 2021
Gnabry ranks fourth for chances created (12) across all competitions for Bayern this term, while also placing fourth for dribbles completed (16) as he continues to fight for his place alongside Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala and the absent Kingsley Coman.
Whichever wingers Nagelsmann utilises, the head coach also appreciates the different challenge that the reigning champions of Ukraine – who have never won away at Allianz Arena in Europe – will propose as he looks to assert his dominance on the Champions League.
“They are always favourites in the league and play that way,” he continued. “They are often very low in games in the Champions League. Benfica failed to score, it will be our main task to play around the block.
“We want to get three points and stay ahead in the table. Otherwise, the plan is more tactical. We want to put a lot of pressure on possession. We also have to avoid counter-attacks.
“It’s about making it clear that we are one of the favourites. In the end, the team that lifts the trophy has to be the one that has won the most games. We want to be that team.”
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