Philipp Lahm backs Renato Sanches after nervy Bayern Munich debut

Renato Sanches received the full backing of Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm after the midfielder struggled on his debut for the German champions against Schalke on Friday.

Sanches, 19, played his first game in 61 days after recovering from a thigh injury suffered helping Portugal to Euro 2016 success. With Arturo Vidal only returning from international duty the day before the game, Sanches replaced the Chile international in midfield in Bayern's only change from the season-opening 6-0 win against Werder Bremen.

Signed in May from Benfica for €35 million plus add-ons, Sanches enjoyed a mixed debut as Bayern maintained their winning start to the season with a hard-fought 2-0 victory. The teenager struggled to adapt to the pace of the game, making a succession of hurried passes and regularly lost possession of the ball.

With the game still goalless, Sanches was eventually substituted on 71 minutes and replaced by Joshua Kimmich. The 21-year-old German international sealed all three points in the dying minutes with his first ever Bayern goal.

But following his nervy debut, Lahm defended the Portuguese prodigy's display: "He's a very, very good player, otherwise he wouldn't be here. He's a European champion and will definitely be an asset to us in the future."

While admitting that Sanches, "perhaps hadn't played his best game," goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was also confident that better days lie ahead for the highly-rated midfielder: "He's very strong in the tackle and always looking to drive forward. His ability is unquestionable."