​Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac has praised Jerome Boateng and Robert Lewandowski for their impressive starts to the season, after both came close to leaving the Allianz Arena this summer.

Boateng revealed earlier this month that ​he had considered leaving Bayern for "the thrill of a new challenge" but turned down the chance to join Manchester United after Kovac told him that he would be an important member of the team this season.

Lewandowski was linked with a move to Real Madrid to replace ​Cristiano Ronaldo but with Bayern reluctant to sell their star striker, a bid never materialised.

​Boateng has conceded just two goals in five appearances this season, while Lewandowski already has eight goals to his name in all competitions as ​Bayern have made a 100% start under Kovac.

"These are great professionals, world-class players. They know what they have to do," said Kovac, quoted by ​FourFourTwo.

"That they play so well does not surprise me. That's what I hoped for and expected."

The Croatian also spoke highly of ​James Rodriguez, who has scored in his last two Bundesliga appearances. It is the Colombian's work ethic which has most pleased his new manager though.

Schalke 04 v Bayern Munchen - German Bundesliga

"He's playing well," Kovac added. "He always makes himself an option and comes up with a solution.

"He's working for the team and is gaining a real reputation for it, not just here in Munich but across the world."

Bayern can make it five league wins out of five when they host Augsburg on Tuesday evening.