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The Croatian striker has been in and out of the Bayern team of late, but their sporting director believes he can still play an important role in the side

Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer has urged Mario Mandzukic to be on top form for the rest of the season.

The Croatia international was left out of the team for last Friday's 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach, prompting speculation over his future, given the arrival of Robert Lewandowski in the summer.

However, the former Borussia Dortmund boss believes that the 27-year-old is still a vital member of the squad - but only if he performs to the best of his abilities.

"Mario Mandzukic is an extremely important player for us, but only if he does all that he can do," the 1996 Ballon d'Or winner told Sky.

"It's fantastic and worth gold. He has to do it over again, even when things get tough. He's shown a reaction, but there must be more to come."

Mandzukic has scored 10 goals in 17 Bundesliga appearances this season and came off the bench during Wednesday's dramatic 2-1 win over Stuttgart.