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Analysis: How Sarpreet Singh can fit in with German giants Bayern Munich

Following Sarpreet Singh's impressive displays for Bayern Munich in their 2019/20 pre-season, the Kiwi youngster is now at a slight crossroads in his European football career.

After he was initially meant to spend the upcoming season with Bayern's reserve side down in the German third division, Singh has in glimpses shown that he can go toe-to-toe with the big boys, entrusted with the full 90 minutes of his side's latest penalty shootout loss to Tottenham.

Singh's showings have even earned praise from Bayern mangager Niko Kovac, stating that he might have to change his plans in regards to the Kiwi's development.

However, one glaring issue stands out for me as to why Singh might not be ready for his Bayern chance just yet - he doesn't fit in tactically with the German champions' schemes.

Last season with the Phoenix, Singh's role was nailed on, playing as an out-and-out number 10 in a 3-4-1-2 shape, in front of the midfield double-pivot of Mandi and Alex Rufer, tucked in behind the strike duo of Roy Krishna and David Williams.

Singh's role was to look to utilise any space awarded to him by the moving parts around him, hoping to tee up either of the two strikers, or play in the likes of Rufer through the middle, or look to expose an overlap out wide for either Louis Fenton or Liberato Cacace.

Bayern Munich though, won't afford Singh the opportunities in his preferred position behind a central striker, playing in a 4-3-3, with three central midfielders supporting three forwards.

The 4-3-3 leaves no room for a traditional number 10, meaning that if Singh is to get a look in, he will have to be shoehorned in somewhere else.

Winger

The most likely way that Singh will be given his first-team chance with Bayern comes in the shape of an out and out wideman.

With Bayern having lost both Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery at the end of last season, and being so far unable to snare Leroy Sane from Manchester City, the Bavarians are lacking quality options out wide - the perfect chance for Singh to break through.

As we saw against Tottenham, Singh could play either on the left as a traditional winger, with his preferred left foot given the chance to take on opposing full backs, or on the right as an inside forward, given the chance to cut in and shoot while allowing for the likes of Joshua Kimmich to overlap outside him.

Again though, this is not his best position, and could see him struggle to adapt to the fast paced, aggressive style of football that the Bundesliga offers.

Unless Bayern are prepared to spend big on another wide player to compliment the likes of Thomas Muller, Kingsley Coman or Serge Gnabry, playing as a winger could be Sarpreet Singh's best shot at breaking into the side.

Central Midfielder

Another potential option would see the Kiwi youngster drop a bit deeper, occupying one of three central midfield positions. Bayern's three-man central midfield sees one out and out defensive shield, with a more creative option either side.

While Singh should in no way be entrusted to play as the defensive option, he could potentially fit in as a box-to-box player in support of Bayern's attacking quality in a role dubbed as a 'free eight' by former Munich boss, Pep Guardiola.

Admittedly, the 20-year old would need to add strength and power to his game - at present not ready for the high physical demands of the Bundesliga - but a deeper central midfield role could see his playmaking abilities come to the fore in a way that we saw at the Phoenix.

In terms of squad depth though, Singh would be far down the pecking order as a Bayern Munich centre mid, already boasting names such as Spain's Thiago and Javi Martinez, France's Corentin Tolliso, homegrown prospect Leon Goretzka and former European Golden Boy winner Renato Sanches to name a few.

False Nine

The most intriguing option though, would see Singh played in his preferred position - albeit with a catch.

Playing as a false nine, best simplified as being a number 10 without having a striker playing ahead of him, Singh could display the qualities that saw him flourish with the Phoenix. Admittedly though, Bayern's shape would see him with less supporting options than he was afforded in Wellington.

In a false nine-type role, Singh would be allowed the attacking responsibilities of a number 10, however wouldn't have the luxury of being in behind a world class striker like Robert Lewandowski, or to a certain extent Thomas Muller.

Conclusions

To expect Singh to nail down a starting spot based off five pre-season appearances would be nothing short of optimistic at best from a Kiwi fan. However, what we've seen so far from the young playmaker suggests that he's already beginning to find his feet with the Bavarian giants.

Kovac's comments suggest that Singh's role this season won't just be restricted to learning his trade with the reserves, and could be given a first team shot sooner rather than later.

However, for now Sarpreet Singh needs to keep his head down and learn the ins and outs of German football, potentially allowing to force his way into Bayern's plans for their German DFB Pokal trophy defence rather than their Bundesliga campaign.

If he can do that, then he might just be afforded with a first team shot around January after the German winter break, if not a loan move to either a second division, or lower ranked Bundesliga side.

Sarpreet Singh competes with Tottenham's Christian Eriksen
Sarpreet Singh competes with Tottenham's Christian Eriksen Source: Getty


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