Niko Kovac is confident that new signing Philippe Coutinho can still improve following an impressive full Bayern Munich debut.
Coutinho, who joined Kovac’s Bayern this month on a season-long loan deal from Barcelona, has already made a good impression in Germany.
Despite his lack of pre-season, the Brazilian playmaker has already played 100 minutes of football in his two games for Bayern. He even made his first start during Saturday’s 6-1 hammering of Mainz.
While Coutinho didn’t in among the goals, he delivered a fine display in the Bayern midfield before Kovac substituted him in the 67th-minute for Thomas Muller.
Nevertheless, the former Liverpool star’s impact didn’t go unnoticed by Kovac.
“We want to build Philippe up and the opportunity presented itself here at home to put him in the starting line-up,” the Bayern boss said on the Bundesliga website.
“He had some good moments, especially on the ball. He played one or two really good passes in behind the defence and we created a great chance from one of them.”
“We know he’s not 100 per cent fit yet, so we planned to give him 60 to 70 minutes here. He’ll regain his fitness by playing. I’m happy with his performance, but I know he’ll improve.”
Likewise, Coutinho is also feeling optimistic over his potential at the Allianz Arena given the strength of his new team-mates.
“There are a lot of good players, top players and great players [here],” said the 27-year-old.
“I’m really happy to be here so that I can learn from them and get better.”
Kovac and Coutinho, though, will have a bit of a wait for Bayern’s next game against current Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig on September 14.