Kovac earmarks new signing Singh for first-team role at Bayern Munich
New signing Sarpreet Singh could be a surprise starter for Bayern Munich in the DFL-Supercup after catching Niko Kovac's eye in pre-season.
Serge Gnabry will miss Saturday's match against Borussia Dortmund because of a muscle issue, leaving a place free on the flank opposite to Kingsley Coman.
Thomas Muller and Alphonso Davies are among the alternatives but New Zealand international Singh, a midfielder by trade, is in contention to continue his rapid rise.
The 20-year-old joined from A-League outfit Wellington Phoenix a month ago and appeared comfortable in friendly appearances against Real Madrid, Arsenal and AC Milan.
"He's a good catch," Kovac said.
"He was planned for the second team but he's shown that he's already a long way ahead of many others.
"I'm very pleased for him and pleasantly surprised.
"With him and Alphonso Davies, you can see they are much further ahead of the others in the second team."
Squad news from #Kovac: "Coman is doing well, he will train again today and be there tomorrow, assuming no unexpected turns. Gnabry is feeling better, but he won't travel. We will try to get him ready to play in the cup."#BVBFCB #FCBayern pic.twitter.com/1qQC9qZVqc— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) August 2, 2019
Singh's road to first-team minutes will become tougher if Bayern succeed in their attempts to sign Leroy Sane from Manchester City.
Where the winger will play next season has become a source of angst for both clubs, with Kovac compelled to apologise to opposite number Pep Guardiola after publicly confirming his interest in the 23-year-old.
Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge rebuked Kovac over the comments and the Croatian took no questions on the subject at his news conference on Friday.
"Everything has been said," he explained.
"Now is the present. We have an important match tomorrow and it's all about that. Dortmund have strengthened, they have been in training longer than us.
"It will be an intense game. Dortmund will be our biggest challenger. We need to be red alert tomorrow."