January 24, 2020 / 1:33 PM / 25 days ago

New signing Odriozola could make Bayern debut against Schalke - Flick

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Real Madrid v Osasuna - Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - September 25, 2019 Real Madrid's Alvaro Odriozola in action with Osasuna's Ruben Garcia REUTERS/Juan Medina/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Bayern Munich’s new signing Alvaro Odriozola could make his debut against Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga on Saturday, only four days after joining on loan from Real Madrid, Bayern coach Hansi Flick said.

Odriozola is a much-needed option at fullback for interim coach Flick, who is struggling with a string of injuries to defenders.

“I am open and he has so far left a really good impression,” Flick told reporters on Friday when asked if Odriozola was ready to play in Munich on Saturday.

“He is a good sort, an offensive defender, very versatile and flexible and also has good crosses. I want to leave this decision open until the last moment. I will decide at short notice.”

The 24-year-old’s arrival is likely to have a knock-on effect on Bayern’s defence, with Benjamin Pavard moving back into the central defence. Joshua Kimmich will also move back into his preferred midfield position from right back.

“(With Odriozola) we now have an additional alternative that gives us more flexibility,” said Flick. “It was all about having options. Through this transfer we have these options.”

Flick also did not rule out making another move during the transfer window, having long demanded a winger.

“We know that as long as the (transfer) window is open a lot can happen. We will have to wait and see,” he said.

Bayern have lost some of their dominant domestic edge that earned them seven consecutive league titles. They are currently in second place, four points behind leaders RB Leipzig. Schalke are a further three points behind on 33.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Toby Davis

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