Bayern boss full of praise for U.S.’s Richards

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Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick has praised United States youngster Chris Richards, saying the 20-year-old defender has earned the minutes he has had this season.

Richards has become a permanent fixture in the Bundesliga champions’ squad during the opening weeks of the campaign. The Bayern boss told reporters on Tuesday that the former FC Dallas academy product hasn’t been given any unwarranted opportunities.

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“Richards absolutely deserves the minutes he has got,” Flick said ahead of Wednesday’s Supercup between Bayern and Borussia Dortmund.

Richards won 17 minutes in the 8-0 humiliation of Schalke on the opening day of the season and remained an unused substitute in Sunday’s 4-1 defeat at Hoffenheim.

Richards in recent weeks has grown increasingly confident that he will earn playing time with Bayern this season. Sources told ESPN last week that he is set to stay at the German champions despite strong interest from several clubs in a potential loan deal.

“The young players have to learn something new every day. Chris has very good qualities. He’s strong in the direct duels, has pace and is strong in the air,” Flick said, adding that he must keep improving parts of his game.

Bayern Munich are up against Borussia Dortmund and Richards, who was not part of the Champions League winning squad at the mini tournament in Lisbon, is set to be in the team.

However, bigger names have been ruled out. David Alaba could miss the clash and Bayern Munich will have to do without Leroy Sane who is sidelined with a knee injury for now.

“Hopefully he will return after the international break,” Flick said of Sane.

The Champions League winners already lost several players over the summer. Midfielder Thiago Alcantara left for Liverpool, with Bayern yet to replace the Spain international.

The loan deals for Ivan Perisic, Philippe Coutinho and Alvaro Odriozola ended. Especially the former two were more than just squad players at the mini tournament in Lisbon where Bayern Munich played in a league of their own to win the Champions League. They have also not been replaced, with only Sane returning to Germany from Manchester City.

The transfer window is set to close on Oct. 5 and Bayern have yet to make moves on the market. They have been linked to a number of players, but with just six days left the German champions have so far not signed a single player.

In the defeat at Hoffenheim — which came only days after going 120 minutes in the European Supercup against Sevilla — showed first signs that the squad might need more depth.

“I am not nervous,” Flick insisted, adding that he is in close contact with Bayern sporting executive Hasan Salihamidzic. “I am confident,” he said about possible transfers in this window.

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