Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal has confirmed that centre-half Holger Badstuber is an integral member of his team, and will return to his line-up when fully fit.
"If Badstuber is fit and in proper condition, he will always play for me," he told Bild. "He is the best left-footed defender in Germany. Jogi Loew has confirmed this because he always nominates him [for the Germany national team]."
The 21-year-old Badstuber has been missing for several weeks due to an inflamed pelvis, but is expected to return to first team action before the Bundesliga's restart in mid-January. With Badstuber's role confirmed, Van Gaal will now have to choose an appropriate partner. Martin Demichelis has fallen out of favour, Daniel van Buyten is in a crisis of form, Breno is only just recovering from cruciate ligament damage, and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk is inexperienced as a centre-half. However, there remains the possibility of a winter transfer.