Opinion: Kingsley Coman ready to succeed Franck Ribery at Bayern Munich | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 14.04.2019
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Opinion: Kingsley Coman ready to succeed Franck Ribery at Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich will say goodbye to two of their greatest ever players this summer, but in Kingsley Coman they already have one successor to the Robben & Ribery era. DW's Jonathan Harding thinks Coman is ready to step up.

People will say it was only Fortuna Düsseldorf, but Kingsley Coman's performance was still spectacular.

It was the kind of elusive, mesmorizing performance that displayed all of the sought-after qualities of a modern winger, and one that ultimately won Bayern the game. If it wasn't clear before, it is now. In Coman Bayern have found the perfect successor to one half of the Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery era that will end this summer.

This performance wasn't even really about his two goals either, as nice as they were. This was about the game-changing player that the 22-year-old already is. Coman's speed is what makes him so difficult to stop. With the ball, the Frenchman can drop a shoulder and slip past opponents as if he were invisible. Without it, he keeps a low center of gravity as if he had the ball all along.

Coman delivered pinpoint passes across the field and launched dangerous attacks with his movement and speed. He was a constant livewire, twitching with intent at the chance to unleash his speed and power. He even cuts in like Robben, although his shots are more often bursts of power rather than curls of beauty.

Deutsche Welle Englisch Fußball Jonathan Harding (DW/P.Henriksen)

DW's Jonathan Harding

His first goal - a cross that Müller didn't get a touch on - proves that he can put the ball exactly where Bayern Munich attackers need it to be. The deft touch of a perfectly-weighted cross is another art form this Frenchman possesses.

Coman started the move for the second, laying off the ball in midfield before making the run into the box and side-footing into the goal as it were nothing more than a reflex. He has now scored five in a season for the first time ever - all in his last six appearances - a statement of intent from a winger who still has so much ahead of him.

At 22, the biggest concern for Coman is his fitness. He missed three months earlier in the season and has battled long spells on the sidelines before. It's the curse of every player whose skill set is built on speed and agility. Perhaps Coman can take note from Robben's fitness management because when he doesn't play, Bayern notice his absence.

At 35, Robben has made over 300 appearances for Bayern, 36-year-old Ribery has made over 400. Coman already has 115, and if he can stay injury free he has a great chance of reaching the same giddy heights and becoming a great player for Germany's record champions. 

One part of Bayern's transition is complete.