Bayern Munich: Josip Stanisic unfazed by intense competition

Josip Stanisic unfazed by competition at Bayern Munich. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images)
Josip Stanisic unfazed by competition at Bayern Munich. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images) /

Bayern Munich has developed a good knack for integrating young players into the first team over the past few seasons. The 2022/23 season has seen the steady rise of Josip Stanisic as he becomes a vital first-team member at Bayern.

Stanisic has been the utility man for Nagelsmann in defense throughout the season. The 22-year-old has made 18 appearances across Bundesliga and Champions League this season. His best performance came against Paris Saint-Germain a few days ago in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16.

Nagelsmann deployed Stanisic in the back three since Benjamin Pavard was suspended for the second leg in Munich. The Croatian defender repaid Nagelsmann’s faith by delivering a faultless performance, which helped Die Roten to keep a clean sheet against the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi.

Josip Stanisic can play across several positions in defense, but there is significant competition for each role in the current squad. While talking to the media this week during international duty with Croatia (via iMiaSanMia), Stanisic admitted that he is not worried about the growing competition for places at Bayern.

"“I’m full of confidence, that’s normal when you play several games in a row. When I heard Cancelo would come, I knew the situation would be much more difficult for me, but I had a lot of competition before, so it wasn’t a problem for me.”"

Stanisic also insisted that he is ready to help the team whenever possible and make the most of his chances in the starting XI. The Croatian defender has certainly done a lot of good things on the pitch for Die Roten this season. Nagelsmann will be particularly pleased with Stanisic’s performance against PSG.

The Croatian defender was rewarded by the club for his steady growth with a contract renewal in November. His new deal at Bayern will now expire in 2026. The 22-year-old defender is also a regular member of the Croatian squad since making his senior debut for Bayern.

Players like Stanisic have a big role to play in a long season. Moreover, versatile players like him also give a lot of tactical flexibility to the team and head coach. The Croatian defender will eventually like to play regularly, but he will not be in a rush to leave Bayern before the prime years of his career.

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Josip Stanisic may have an even bigger role to play next season if Bayern ends up parting ways with Benjamin Pavard. He can become the fourth center-back option in the squad and provide cover in both wing-back positions. Stanisic will hope to get some playing time with Croatia in the international break before returning to Die Roten for the crucial and final phase of the season.