Talking to media at Bayern Munich’s pre-season tour of the USA, Niko Kovac spoke highly of his squad, and singled out defender Jerome Boateng for special attention.
Boateng played 45 minutes in last week’s 2-1 reverse against Arsenal. During his time on the pitch, the 2014 FIFA World Cup winner recorded a rather impressive 100 per cent pass completion rate and ensured that Bayern did not concede.
It was enough to make Kovac take note of his performance: "[Boateng’s] performances, both in training and in the match, have been very good."
Boateng fell behind fellow centre-back Niklas Süle in the pecking order at the Allianz Arena last season, but the departure of Mats Hummels means that there may now be more opportunities for the 30-year-old at the centre of Bayern’s defence.
New arrivals Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez will also have eyes on places in the Bayern backline, but the experienced Boateng is making the most of his American opportunity, potentially giving Kovac a selection headache.
"I’m very satisfied with Jerome, as I am with the rest of the squad as well," said the 2018/19 Bundesliga-winning coach. "His concentration and quality are exceedingly good."
The Berlin native and his teammates will no doubt have further impressed their coach in their next pre-season match, a 3-1 win over Spanish giants Real Madrid in Houston on Saturday, in their second game of this summer’s International Champions Cup.
Boateng was one of just two players, along with Joshua Kimmich, to play the full 90 minutes in that match.
The defender was part of the Bayern side that beat Real in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League semi-finals, before going on to lift the trophy as part of an unprecedented treble-winning campaign the following season.
The 76-time Germany international has made 286 appearances for Bayern in all competitions since moving to Munich from Manchester City in summer 2011.