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Bayern haven't integrated Coutinho enough yet - Flick

12:33 GMT 11/01/2020
Philippe Coutinho Bayern Munich 2019-20
The German head coach has expressed his belief that the Brazilian "needs to interact more with his team-mates" in order to reach his full potential

Bayern Munich interim manager Hansi Flick has described Philippe Coutinho as a "gifted player" but feels his integration into the squad is not yet complete.

Coutinho joined the Bundesliga champions on a season-long loan from Barcelona on August 19, after a difficult spell at Camp Nou which saw him fail to live up to expectations.

The Brazil international scored 21 goals in 76 appearances for the Blaugrana, helping the club win back-to-back La Liga titles, but failed to replicate the same level of performances he produced consistently at Liverpool.

The 27-year-old established himself as one of the finest midfielders in Europe over the course of five years at Anfield, before securing a move to Catalunya in January 2018.

Coutinho has shown glimpses of his best form in Bayern shirt, with a stunning hat-trick in a 6-1 home win against Werder Bremen on December 14 serving as a stark reminder of his talents.

He has contributed six goals and five assists to the team's domestic cause this season, while also scoring once in the Champions League, but Flick insists there is more to come from the enigmatic playmaker.

Ahead of Bayern's trip to Hertha Berlin on January 19, the caretaker boss told reporters: "Philippe is a gifted soccer player but he still needs to interact more with his team-mates.

"I don't think we've integrated him enough yet [to see his best]. The training camp was very good for him. There are a lot of things planned for next week, like ball work.

"Hopefully, he'll progress further again and show Hertha what class he has."

Coutinho will likely feature in Bayern's friendly against Nuremberg on Saturday afternoon, which marks the club's first fixture of 2020.

Bayern slipped to third in the Bundesliga standings before the winter break in Germany, four points behind leaders Leipzig after 17 fixtures.

The Bavarians have a real fight on the hands to retain their domestic crown come May, with Borussia Monchengladbach also two points above them at the moment.

After their meeting with Hertha next weekend, Bayern will prepare to welcome Schalke to the Allianz Arena on January 25, before opening their February schedule away at Mainz seven days later.