Chris Richards hasn’t had to wait long to earn his first senior minutes of the new Bayern Munich season and very well could on the way to more as the season goes on.
Hansi Flick rewarded Richards with a 17-minute cameo in an 8-0 Bundesliga beatdown of Schalke on Matchday 1. Richards did not feature in a 4-1 loss to Hoffenheim last weekend, but remains with the first team ahead of Wednesday’s German Super Cup against Borussia Dortmund.
Flick still has a decision to make regarding Richards’ immediate future with the club, but is excited about the center back’s future in Germany.
“Richards absolutely deserves the minutes he has got,” Flick said Tuesday.
“The young players have to learn something new every day. Chris has very good qualities. He’s strong in the direct duels, has pace and is strong in the air.”
Richards had been linked with a loan move away from Bayern this season with fellow Bundesliga side Union Berlin interested in obtaining him. However, with the Transfer Window set to close on Oct. 5th, no deal has been made as of yet, meaning Richards could stay with Bayern as the German club pushes for back-to-back trebles under Flick’s leadership.
The 20-year-old American spent most of last season with Bayern II, scoring four goals in 30 appearances and helping the Under-23’s win the 3. Liga title. He was also rewarded with his Bundesliga debut in the final matches of the league season and also dressed in the UEFA Champions League knockout stage.
With David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, Lucas Hernandez and Niklas Sule all ahead of him in the pecking order, it might be tough for Richards to play consistently in his second season with the first team, but the opportunity to learn from several seasoned veterans and train alongside them could benefit him in the long run.
Bayern continues its Bundesliga schedule on Oct. 4th vs. Hertha Berlin before traveling to Duren in German Cup action on Oct. 15th.