Thomas Müller enjoys the prestigious company of some of the greatest players on the planet at Bayern Munich, but that has not stopped him throwing admiring glances at Borussia Dortmund counterpart Jadon Sancho.
Müller, 30, has played alongside the likes of Miroslav Klose, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Bastian Schweinsteiger down the years, and now heads the 2019/20 Bundesliga helps charts as part of a group that counts Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry as its very own.
The one-club guy has set up 12 goals for his teammates this term but is not surprised to have last year’s assist king, Sancho, in hot pursuit.
“He is a menace with his strategy, speed, and dribbling. There are other players in the Bundesliga with these qualities, but they do not possess his exceptional decision making.”
Sancho produced 12 goals and a league-leading 14 assists in his first full season in the Bundesliga but is on track to blow off those numbers from the water in 2019/20. Following 19 rounds of fixtures, he’s scored 11 and assisted as many, aided by a series of one of each in six of his last eight games.
Müller, meanwhile, helped himself to his fourth Bundesliga goal of the season from the Matchday 19 win over Schalke. His strikes, as well as two-thirds of his assists tally, have dropped in the period since Hansi Flick was installed as interim coach in place of Niko Kovac before their first Klassiker of the year against Dortmund.
Bayern cantered to a 4-0 win, and have just dropped points in two of the eight league assignments so far on Flick’s watch closing the gap on leaders RB Leipzig to one point.
Under Kovac, he started on the bench for half of Bayern’s first 10 matches of the league campaign.
“I could not know it then and I still can not now about why I had been on the bench for six competitive matches in a row, because I actually believed I could help the team. It was not what I envisaged my function to be when I had only just turned 30.
“Since then, however, it has been going really well for me and the team — apart in the 2 matches against Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Mönchengladbach where we played well but lost.”
If the defending champions beat Mainz on Matchday 20, they will climb into a provisional first [Leipzig take on third-placed Gladbach in Saturday’s late match ] for the first time since the last weekend of September 2019.
It was confirmed during the winter break that Flick will stay in control of first-team affairs until the end of the effort, but Müller says he’d welcome a more long-term arrangement.
“Hansi is doing a fantastic job as a coach and has an enormous influence on the team due to his individual qualities,” the eight-time Bundesliga winner clarified.
“Expectations in Bayern are so high, though. We can’t say we are happy just because we are playing well when we are doing the chasing. However, if we continue in this vein [and win the title] Flick is surely the club’s first port of call”