Guardiola hails Bayern wonderkid Benko

The coach praised the gifted youngster following Tuesday’s friendly but insisted he is not ready for first-team football yet

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has hailed teenager Fabian Benko’s potential following his side’s 1-0 win over Inter, but insisted the midfielder is not yet ready for senior games.

The 17-year-old midfielder came on at half-time of Bayern’s win in Shanghai as Mario Gotze scored an 80th-minute winner for the Bundesliga champions.

Guardiola was full of praise for Benko after the encounter and said he would continue getting his chances with the senior team, but only in training.

“Fabian Benko is a very young player. He is only 17 years old, but we think that he is very good,” he said.

“We have to go step by step. It is an honour for him to be here. He is practising with our big players, so the training alone is a big step forward for him, but his place is still in the second and third team.

“From time to time he will train with us but he will stay in the second team. At 17 he still has to improve in all areas of the game, but we are very satisfied with his performances and his attitude in the training.

“Today was a hard match against a tough opponent. But we have no new injuries and I am very happy about that. We are OK.”

It took until late on for Bayern to secure their win as Gotze got on the end of a Sebastian Rode pass before rounding Samir Handanovic to tap in.

Guardiola said he was happy with his squad after using 21 players in the friendly.

“Not only was it just the 11 players that started [who] performed well, all of them did,” he said.

“Every player knew their position, and every player did what we asked them to do. That is what is important. For example, a winger has to play his role the best he can. Every player did that.”

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