Niko Kovac hopes to see Renato Sanches flourish under his leadership at Bayern Munich and believes the youngster's career stalled due to "a social issue" and not "football-specific" matters.
Sanches was an unused substitute for Saturday's 3-1 Bundesliga win over Bayer Leverkusen and could feature against former club Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday.
The Portugal international left Benfica as one of the hottest properties in European football two years ago, joining Bayern before starring in his country's triumphant Euro 2016 campaign.
But he failed to make an impression over the course of 17 Bundesliga appearances in 2016-17 before an ill-fated loan switch to Swansea City, which ended with Sanches as a peripheral figure in the club's relegation from the Premier League.
Kovac has regularly spoken of the 21-year-old in glowing terms since being appointed as Jupp Heynckes' successor at the Allianz Arena and feels his talent should not be in doubt.
"I cannot judge the past. I know the facts, but why he came to the problems I cannot say exactly," he told Goal.
"He is European, but comes from another country. Other countries, other customs, other characteristics. This is not just a football-specific, but rather a social issue.
"You have to try to understand other people. You cannot treat a foreigner like a German because he reacts differently to different things. I told Renato that it's not easy to become a Bayern regular. His chance will come.
"He is a young player and does his job really well. Right now, in our personnel situation, the probability is very high that he will play soon.
"He was not dubbed for nothing as one of the world's best of his age. But you have to give people time and not assume that they work immediately.
"The young players only have to process the impressions when they come to a foreign country. It is unjust that foreign players are required to explode immediately."
Kovac believes his own experience as a German-born Croatian can help him to relate to players who have struggled in the manner of Sanches.
"I try to empathise with the players and wonder how to handle a case. You can be emotional [angry] sometimes, but you have to be aware that a statement or criticism has an impact," he said.
"As a player and after some time as a coach, I've learned that not all people are the same. When I was a player I used to always want the coach to treat everyone the same. But you can forget that.
"I think it benefits me that I have Croatian roots but grew up in Germany. I have two mentalities inside me and maybe I can think better of one or the other.
"I've learned a lot from the diversity in Frankfurt, the German and foreign players as well. Diversity makes life interesting."
|Brown desperate for England recall|
|Lowry ties course record in Abu Dhabi|
|James is playing for Bayern future – Kovac|
|Wizards can compete for playoffs in LeBron-less East despite injuries - Brooks|
|Kyrgyzstan 3 Philippines 1: Lux hat-trick gives White Falcons third-place hope|
|South Korea 2 China 0: Son sets the standard as Bento´s men take top spot|
|Saudi Arabia v Qatar: Top spot on the line in Group E|
|Wasps pull off Fekitoa coup|
|Fresh injury woe for Real Madrid defender Vallejo|
|Home sweet home for Wozniacki as Stephens conquers Melbourne demons|
|Nadal: Victory over Ebden a step forward|
|Proteas rest Steyn and De Kock for opening ODIs|
|Nadal and Federer march on as rising stars prosper|
|Barcelona president Bartomeu convinced Valverde will stay|
|Inter forward Keita suffers thigh injury|
|Nadal races into third round with easy Ebden win|
|Kimmich ´perfect´ for Barcelona, says Xavi|
|Richardson and Nabi inspire Renegades´ rout of Sixers|
|This Liverpool isn´t a team of chokers – Mane|
|Central Coast Mariners 2 Melbourne City 1: Late Simon winner ends 10-match losing streak|
|Bryan backs Murray to return after hip resurfacing surgery|
|Scotland coach Townsend turns to trio of uncapped hookers|
|Spurs´ Aurier arrested on suspicion of assault, released without charge|
|That was a fireworks show - Warriors revel in record-breaking first quarter|
|We are in talks with Chelsea – Salihamidzic reiterates interest in Hudson-Odoi|
|´Proud´ Messi recognises impact of team-mates after reaching 400 LaLiga goals|
|Henry v Vieira: The Arsene Wenger proteges to move into coaching|
|Federer enjoys ´cat and mouse´ win over Evans|
|Wozniacki cruises through in Melbourne|
|Federer maintains perfect Australian Open second-round record|
|Warriors set NBA record, Butler´s 76ers rout Timberwolves|
|´I like the fact we beat them´ - 76ers´ Butler revels in win over Timberwolves|
|Murray says he´ll ´probably´ have operation|
|Australian Open tribute for Andy Murray surprises brother Jamie|
|Warriors score NBA record 51 points in first quarter against Nuggets|
|Panthers owner Tepper doesn´t rule out Newton missing 2019 because of shoulder injury|
|De Ligt will be world´s best centre-back – Koeman|
|Ronaldo a ´perfect machine´, says Gattuso|
|Barcelona? I can´t say anything - Stuani|
|Silva upbeat about Man City title chances|
|Celtics youngsters say Irving´s callout ´came from a good place´|
|NFL playoffs: Patrick Mahomes v Tom Brady|
|NFL playoffs: Jared Goff v Drew Brees|
|Sixers sign Brewer to 10-day contract|
|Lozano and Morgan scoop CONCACAF awards|
|Lakers ´optimistic´ about LeBron injury|
|Giants produce mammoth fourth quarter against Nymburk|
|Austin FC to join MLS in 2021|
|Henry, Vieira look forward to reunion when Monaco host Nice|
|Barcelona reject Neymar phone call reports|
|Wentz is the quarterback ´going forward´, says Eagles coach Pederson|
|Gattuso: Higuain has not asked to leave|
|Drew Brees by the Opta numbers: 10 facts for QB´s milestone birthday|
|Harry Kane injury: England captain´s history of ankle woe|
|Harry Kane injury: Opta numbers suggest Spurs struggles|
|Harry Kane injury: Tottenham´s options in striker´s absence|
|Allegri: Supercoppa clash practice for Champions League knockouts|
|First in clean sheets, second to Schmeichel in titles – Cech´s Premier League career in Opta numbers|
|Warrington sign England star Widdop|
|Gatland confident Wales can win Six Nations|
|Fulham sign Netherlands international Babel|
|Harry Kane injury: Games the Tottenham striker will miss|
|Simeone focused on matches, not transfer dealings|
|Iran v Iraq: Pressure off for Queiroz & Katanec|
|Vietnam v Yemen: Kocian keeps the faith|
|Darren Bravo back in West Indies Test side for first time since 2016|
|Kane out until March with ankle injury|
|South Korea v China: Son arrives for Group C dead rubber|
|Kyrgyzstan v Philippines: Eriksson remains hopeful|
|McGrath to miss Six Nations, Sexton nearing fitness|