Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac has added his voice to the chorus of praise for attacker Serge Gnabry, who has impressed for club and country in recent weeks.
Anyone unaware of the 24-year-old’s gifts was made to sit up and take notice at the start of October, when Gnabry scored four times in a remarkable 7-2 away thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Champions League.
Having also found the net in Bayern’s 3-2 win over Paderborn on Matchday 6, he took his personal scoring tally to six goals in four outings when he helped Germany tear apart Argentina in the first half of their international friendly last week. He chipped in with a goal and assist before Die Mannschaft were eventually pegged back to a 2-2 draw.
Watch: The inexorable rise of Gnabry
It was perhaps inevitable, then, that Kovac would be asked about the in-form attacker ahead of Bayern’s Matchday 8 assignment away to Bavarian neighbours Augsburg.
“He’s developed really well, but he can still get even better,” said the 48-year-old. “Let’s just wait and see what happens. If he can stay healthy and keep a clear head, he’ll continue to develop.
“He’s world class. There’s nobody else with his abilities in the Bundesliga. He can shoot with his left or right foot, but he could exploit his pace better in the final third and go deeper every now and again, as he’s a real weapon there. He’s a great guy.”
Kovac also singled out fellow winger Alphonso Davies, who helped Canada beat the USA for the first time in 34 years during the international break. “He’s got great qualities and his speed his a huge advantage,” Kovac said.
“He plays a more defensive role with us than he does with his national team. He still needs to develop. We’ve got a lot of top-class players and need to find the right balance. I hope we can give him the minutes he needs.”
Davies is unlikely to start at Augsburg following his transatlantic exertions, but Gnabry is expected to be fit again after sitting out Germany’s UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier with Estonia due to a minor muscle complaint.
And with Bayern’s record of 13 wins from 16 meetings with Die Függerstädter so far, the Germany international will be relishing the prospect of charging at the league’s joint-leakiest defence (19 goals conceded).
And Kovac made no secret of his desire to return to the summit as the club pursue a record eighth successive league title: “That’s our aim. The upcoming matchday has a lot of fixtures with teams in the top half going head-to-head. We know how difficult our task is, but the number of away wins this season has been remarkable and we want to add to that.”