Flick: Odriozola Making Great First Impression

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Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick has already been impressed by Alvaro Odriozola, just two days after his arrival from Real Madrid.

The full-back joined the Bundesliga champions this week on loan until the end of the season, having made only five appearances in 2019-20 under Zinedine Zidane.

 

Flick will have Joshua Kimmich available for Saturday's game against Schalke after the Germany star returned from a ban, but Odriozola appears to be under consideration to make his debut despite having had relatively few training sessions with his new team-mates.

"I'll leave it open," Flick said on Friday. "He's making a very good impression, he's a good player. He's an attack-minded defender, he can introduce speed, he's very agile, his crosses are good.

"I'll decide at short notice. We have another option now, which makes us more flexible."

 

Regardless of whether Odriozola gets his debut at full-back, Flick is prepared to throw Kimmich straight back into action.

"Joshua Kimmich is a role model," he said. "He's 100 per cent motivated in every training session, he always gives it everything, he always wants to learn more and improve. I really like this trait. He'll play."

Flick, who says Lucas Hernandez is making "good progress" in his injury recovery and could be in contention to make the matchday squad, is eager not to become distracted by the form of Bayern's title rivals.

Bayern are four points behind leaders RB Leipzig, one ahead of Borussia Monchengladbach and just two above Borussia Dortmund and Schalke heading into matchday 19.

"I was very impressed by Schalke's display against Gladbach, how they pressed, how well they built up their attacks and that they won deservedly. It'll be a very tough match," he said.

"We're aware of the situation. We must focus on ourselves, it's important to live up to our full potential. We mustn't look at our rivals. They're all fired up and see a chance of winning the championship title this year.

"We must make sure we perform well and live up to our full potential in every match. Then it'll be like in the last few years: whoever wants to win the title must beat us."

Dortmund have strengthened this month with the signing of Erling Haaland, who scored a debut hat-trick in the 5-3 win over Augsburg, while Juventus midfielder Emre Can has been linked with a move to Signal Iduna Park.

"I've known Emre Can for a long time. He is a top professional with an excellent career," said Flick. "He has the quality to play for every Bundesliga club. He'd be good for every team.

"Haaland's debut was obviously impressive. That tells you everything about him."