If you (rightly) regard anyone nicknamed 'King' with a healthy dose of suspicion, it might be time to rein in your scepticism when it comes to Kingsley Coman, who looks to be back to his unplayable best for Bayern Munich.
The 22-year-old missed the majority of 2018 through two separate ankle injuries, but after being gradually eased back into first-team action in December, played the full 90 minutes on Matchday 22 for only the second time this season.
And what a 90 minutes he had. Bayern twice went behind away to Augsburg, only for Coman to score his first Bundesliga goals this term to fire Niko Kovac's side level each time, before teeing up David Alaba to hit the winner in a 3-2 victory.
It was a match-winning display that prompted Coman's Bayern team-mate Mats Hummels to sing the praises of the 15-time France international: "You can just see what an exceptional player he is and can be. Whenever he's fit he can make a huge difference."
With fellow wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery now both 35, Coman's importance to the team will only increase over the coming seasons. Yet Kovac believes he is already vital to Bayern's title aspirations.
"His absence affected us a lot," the 47-year-old said in January this year. "I know this is difficult to prove, but in my opinion the gap at the top of the table wouldn't be as big [six points at the time] if he hadn't got injured. We wouldn't be so far behind and might even be at the top ourselves. I'm well aware of his qualities, and they're qualities the team needs."
Kovac highlighted the Parisian's "speed" and "directness" as two of his principle attributes. Add in his ability to go past his marker and – as he showed against Augsburg – incisiveness in the final third, and you have a player with gifts in short supply at the very top level.
"He gives us a completely different dynamic, a different view of the game," said Kovac after the Augsburg match. "We missed him while he was out injured, so I hope he can stay fit now."
With a tricky UEFA Champions League Round-of-16 tie against Liverpool coming up, as well as the prospect of catching league leaders Borussia Dortmund over the next few weeks, Bayern's status as Bundesliga and European royalty could well depend on their 'King'.
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