Pep Guardiola has stressed Arjen Robben remains a key figure for Bayern Munich.
The Netherlands international has made just 10 Bundesliga appearances in 2015-16 due to ongoing injury problems, with Douglas Costa and Kingsley Coman impressing on the wings in Robben’s absence.
Some have even suggested Bayern might be better off without the 32-year-old, but Guardiola refuses to write off Robben yet.
“Arjen needs time to get back to his best. But he is hugely important for me with his desire to get forward and his strength in one-on-ones,” Bayern coach Guardiola said at a news conference.
“He was hardly ever injured during my first two seasons in charge and he is still a key player for me.”
Bayern take on Augsburg on Sunday and Guardiola has revealed Mario Gotze could make his return after a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to an adductor injury, while Serdar Tasci is in line to make his official debut for the Bavarians.
“I am not sure yet whether Gotze and Tasci will be ready for Sunday,” he added.
“The players have a day off on Friday and will then be training on Saturday. We will make a decision after Saturday’s training.”
Tasci’s potential debut could see Joshua Kimmich return to midfield after featuring a number of games in defence and Guardiola has nothing but praise for the Germany Under-21 international.
“We are very happy with Joshua’s performances. He has been doing a great job in defence,” Guardiola stressed.
“We will have to wait and see what happens in the future. Joshua has shown us that he can play in defence. He did very well.”