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'Outstanding defender'

Van Gaal's praise for versatile Badstuber

Pranjic, Pranjic, Braafheid, Pranjic, Braafheid, Pranjic, Lahm, Braafheid, Braafheid, Pranjic, Braafheid. Those are the men who played at left-back for Bayern in the first eleven Bundesliga matches of the season. New signings Edson Braafheid and Danijel Pranjic had five turns each, with Philipp Lahm doing the honours away to Hamburg. The vice-captain's only other appearance on the left was the Champions League clash in Bordeaux.

For the most recent game, at home to Schalke 04, Van Gaal sprang a surprise in the position. Neither Pranjic, nor Braafheid, nor indeed Lahm took the slot on the left of the back four. The man chosen for the job was Holger Badstuber. For the very first time in his career, the Germany U-21 international played at left-back – and earned glowing praise from his boss into the bargain. "I saw an outstanding left-sided defender today," Van Gaal commented after the draw with Schalke.