Lucas Hernandez (l.) has been enjoying a run in the Bayern Munich team at the expense of Alphonso Davies (r.) in the early part of 2020/21. - © imago
Lucas Hernandez (l.) has been enjoying a run in the Bayern Munich team at the expense of Alphonso Davies (r.) in the early part of 2020/21. - © imago
bundesliga

Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick explains decision to play Lucas Hernandez ahead of Alphonso Davies at left-back

Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick says the jam-packed schedule is behind his decision to limit Alphonso Davies' playing time in favour of Lucas Hernandez.

Davies was one of the stars of Bayern's treble-winning exploits in 2019/20, bolting down a regular place as the club's first-choice left-back.

The 19-year-old missed only one of 35 competitive matches after Flick replaced Niko Kovac as coach, but has played the full 90 minutes in three of Bayern's seven domestic and European assignments so far in 2020/21. Hernandez, by contrast, has made six starts.

"For a young player like Alphonso Davies, it's not easy due to the sheer number of games last season and the short pre-season," Flick told media, Bayern having had just two weeks' downtime between lifting the UEFA Champions League and beginning the new Bundesliga campaign.

"We've deliberately given him the time to recharge - mentally and physically - and that's what he's been doing."

Watch: All of Alphonso Davies' Bundesliga goals and assists in 2019/20

Given Davies' supremely polished performances last season, it is easy to forget he is still only embarking on his second full campaign as a Bayern player following his January 2019 move from Vancouver Whitecaps.

The 2019/20 Bundesliga Rookie of the Season and 2020 Golden Boy contender can expect to play a bigger role as the campaign kicks into gear, not least with Bayern facing two fixtures a week heading into the winter months. Having 2018 FIFA World Cup winner Hernandez for competition will likely propel him to even greater heights.

Flick is a fan of both players, Hernandez having rediscovered his former strengths after missing the majority of 2019/20 with an ankle ligament injury

"Lucas is playing very well," the recently crowned UEFA Coach of the Year said of Bayern's record signing. "He's being aggressive and is putting in solid performances right now."

Hernandez, who officially joined Bayern from Atletico Madrid in summer 2019, began against his former club in Wednesday's UEFA Champions League Group A clash at the Allianz Arena.

Davies also featured late on as Bayern kicked off their Champions League title defence just 59 days after claiming their sixth European crown with a 1-0 victory over Paris Saint-Germain. Red Bull Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow complete the section.