Attacker | Bayern Munich | France
Explosive, tricky and blessed with an eye for goal, Kingsley Coman has all the hallmarks of the modern winger-forward, expected to nab as many goals as strikers and turn defenders for fun. He’s certainly in the right place to become one as well; at the age of 22, the Frenchman has already lifted domestic titles with PSG, Juventus and current employers Bayern Munich.
The only problem is that fate seems to continue throwing obstacles in his path like he’s a contestant on Total Wipeout. And instead of falling into a big bath of freezing cold water, it’s his career that’s taking all the nosedives instead. After 2017 was besmirched by his domestic abuse case, 2018 has been thwarted with constant injury problems - limiting him to just four starts in total.
2018 has been…
A disaster for a player who finished top of the Champions League’s assists ranking for 2015/16 and reached the final of the tournament with Juventus the year prior. Bayern Munich, in general, have been stuck in a malaise since Coman’s switch to the Allianz Arena but the plan was for the youngster to emerge as the rightful successor to Franck Ribery or Arjen Robben by now. The German champions, however, are still dependent on two wingers with a combined age of 69, largely because Coeman’s development hasn’t gone as expected.
2018 was an immense disappointment, albeit largely out of the youngster’s control. During this calendar year, he’s missed 31 games with a syndesmotic ligament tear (which sounds incredibly painful) after the recurrence of a previous issue occurred in August. Although he made it back in time for a cameo in the DFB-Pokal final, that effectively ruled Coman out of making France’s squad for the World Cup, leaving the youngster to wallow all summer as Didier Deschamps’ side marched onto glory in Russia.
“An anonymous life,” to quote Coman himself. The Bayern prodigy has warned that he’s ready to retire from football if his ankle injury requires a third operation, having clearly struggled psychologically after his previous rehabilitations. Perhaps Coman is already planning living as a nomad in the caves of the Alps, or maybe he’ll be your local taxi driver. In any case, it seems like a cruel fate for a player so naturally gifted - so let’s hope there’s some life in the young dog yet.
D - A year of relentless difficulties that have inevitably seen Coman regress from the youngster that once appeared destined to become a world-class talent.