Sanches is considered to be one of Europe’s biggest talents. Therefore most supporters were disappointed, that he recieved little playing time and wasn’t able to put in convincing performacnes, when he did play.
A season to forget
So far the 19-year-old has only played 618 league minutes. Out of the champions squad only the backup keepers Starke (90) and Ulreich (450) played less.
No goals, no assists, only 0.6 key passes per 90 minutes. The offensive power, which left a huge splash on the international stage of the European Championship last summer, was nowhere to be seen.
In the preseason scouting report our author Steffen wrote about Sanches’ vigour and his inner motor. Especially his robustness left him in awe.
Frankly, Sanches only showed flashes of all that. All to often he looked like he didn’t really fit in, he didn’t cope with the system and seemed to think too slow. This led to many lost possessions, which resulted in fouls or opposing counter attacks.
The Portuguese collected three bookings in this short playing time. His passing was always low risk and his dynamic take-ons occured rarely.
Even put positive, he at most showed flashes of being capable of playing for a team like Bayern.
Does he fit the system?
That’s why the club needs to question whether the current coaches are capable of teaching Sanches the most important tactical aspects of the game. A coach who crams football with him.
At the same time it has to be observed if the 19-year-old fits the Bayern football system. Even if Sanches develops in a positive way, Bayern could be stuck in a Vidal-like situation.
Although the Chilean became a vital part of Munichs roster, his way of playing introduce some negative aspects, which do not suit the overall philosophy.
The same could be in play with Sanches. The Portuguese holds the ball too long, disrupts the ball circulation and has problems with his positioning. Still, the club can’t lose hope to soon and needs to encourage the player and promote his strengths.
Sanches is the sole player in Bayern’s squad wihtout a history under tactical wizards Thomas Tuchel or Pep Guardiola. Both stand for Bayern’s philosophy of football.
Showing patience and confidence
The 19-year-old needs to work on his deficits and both the club and the public will need to show great patience. Even Joshua Kimmich and Kingsley Coman, who fit better in Bayerns system, had their struggles to fit into Ancelottis team.
This situation could change next season, as Ancelotti could be forced to trust in the young players. Sanches is still only nineteen and one should not forget that his transfer was an enormous step.
Language, age, the lacking coaches trust, the huge transfer fee and the restless environment could all be a factor that hampered his output. Furthermore the public debate concerning possible bonus payments were not benificial.
Mario Götze was the last player, who was crushed by pressure from the environment and a disproportionate expectation.
Bayern will be asked to put him in the best positon to develop calmly. Therefore a so-called positive error-culture is needed. The Portuguese will need to be allowed to make mistakes.
Sanches’ talents are apperant. Bayern needs to foster his dynamics and unique abilities as well as widen his playing intelligence. In last weeks match against Darmstadt Sanches showed nice tendencies. He had seven succesfull take-ons which show his assertiveness.
Even though his game was not free of faults some developement in comparison to earlier games was apparent. Particularly as this was one of the few games which he got to start and finish.
FC Bayern can and will need to show in the nearest future that they can develope players. If the club reaches the conclusion to move him elsewhere in order to nurture his development, a loan move could be wise. Selling him would be careless, however.
Lahm and Alaba are two examples of players, who showed that some time away can help. It is important though, to loan him within Germany in order for him to get accustomed to the language and environment.
Furthermore it is important to choose the loan partner wisely. The last loan moves, for example Badstuber to Schalke or Green to Hamburg, were of little success, because the team was instable and in distress.
Maybe a change of possession could also be in play. His skill set could very well suit that of a right defender. In that role he doesn’t need to make strategical decisions as often and his dynamic and robustness could help him.
Another important factor is the patience of fellow players, club officials and supporters. Sanches needs lots of trust and every frustrated wave aside, every other year on the bench and every murmur in the stands could leed to loss of confidence.
Of course the player himself is responsable as well. Being able to look at himself critically and an absolute will to succeed are vital in order for him to prosper.
In an interview he recently admitted, that his first season wasn’t particularly good. He wants to bounce back in the next season.
This paints a picture of a realistic and self-critical young player. Whether he can make the next step at Bayern wil depend on many things. However, trust and patience from all sides will play a very important role.