Kingsley Coman wants to provide "the spark" for Bayern Munich this season as he happily shoulders the creative burden passed on by departed legends Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.
Robben and Ribery both left Bayern last summer after their 'Robbery' partnership had been the cornerstone of nearly a decade of unrivalled success for the record Bundesliga champions, leaving Coman as their natural successor.
The weight of expectation created by following in the footsteps of such club icons might have crushed lesser players, but not the France international, who told the French sports daily L'Equipe he thrives on the additional pressure.
Watch: Coman opens his 2019/20 account in Bayern's mauling of Mainz
"I'm not really about status. I want to help my team and above all, win. I want to be there in terms of stats but also in the game itself – I want to provide the spark for the team. Beyond that, if I'm playing all the time and I'm helping the team to win, then star status will come. But to be the most acclaimed player is not what I'm after," said Coman, who has a goal and an assist in three Bundesliga outings this season.
"I've had the feeling since last season that my teammates are asking more of me. During one match Thomas Müller came up to me and said 'You're the one who has to make the difference.' I like that extra responsibility. Does it make me stronger? No. I've always been demanding. But I like it."
Coman carried his club form into the international arena when he became the first France player since Thierry Henry in 2007 to score twice in a EURO qualifier with his double strike in the 4-1 defeat of Albania on Saturday.
The 23-year-old stole the show for the FIFA World Cup winners, and — after overcoming two serious ankle injuries back-to-back — insists he is both physically and mentally in a position to repeatedly deliver top-drawer displays.
"I've developed. Before, I maybe didn't have as much diligence in my final action because I knew I was going to get the ball again. But now, when I have to go for it, it will be with a killer instinct and a willingness to be effective every time," said Coman, who played for Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus before moving to the Allianz Arena — initially on loan from Juve — in 2015.
"I've been lucky enough to only play with big clubs. I know to what extent consistency is essential. I'm steeped in that mentality. I never slacken off. You know in all the clubs that I've been, if you lose two matches in a row it's a crisis. I've always been steeped in this absolute requirement [to perform and win matches]."
Fully fit and firing on all cylinders, Coman hopes he can fuel an eighth successive Bundesliga title for Bayern, and maintain his incredible record of having won the league title in each of the eight seasons of his professional career to date.
With injury having forced him to sit at home and watch his compatriots lift the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Coman has his heart set on a big season in Niko Kovac's plans in both domestic and continental competition in the hope of also playing a central role in those of France boss Didier Deschamps.
"It's the first season where I've really been a regular starter. There's the Euros too so I'll give my all. I don't want to have any regrets at the end," he explained.
"If I could beat a record by being a champion in every one of my years as a pro, I would be really happy. All I'm missing is the Champions League and a major title with France. I'd love to experience that kind of emotion."