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 By Mark Lovell

Lothar Matthaus backs Renato Sanches to shine for Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich midfielder Renato Sanches
Renato Sanches has had a tough start to life at Bayern Munich.

Bayern Munich legend Lothar Matthaus has backed Portuguese teenager Renato Sanches to make a big impact in 2017 after a difficult first six months at the club.

Sanches, 19, has started only four Bundesliga games since joining from Benfica for an initial €35 million fee.

He has failed to score for the Bavarians in 15 appearances in all competitions and only completed the full 90 minutes on a single occasion.

But Matthaus wrote in his Sport Bild column: "He's been through a lot in 2016: a hugely unexpected success at Euro 2016 and a big-money move to a new country.

"In the first half of the season, he wasn't the player I know. He lacked self-confidence and enjoyed little game time.

"That will change in the second half of the season. He'll get more games because of rotation and show the qualities in the No. 8 position that make him special -- strong tackling, determination and goal-scoring ability. I'm a Sanches fan."

Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.

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