Will Bayern Munich’s German backbone continue under Julian Nagelsmann?


Leon Goretzka, Niklas Süle and Joshua Kimmich could be at the center – literally – of Bayern Munich’s pursuit of success under Julian Nagelsmann next season.

Eight of the last German teams that went to UEFA Euro 2020 were Bayern players, but whether through injury, loss of form or simply falling victim to their own versatility, Goretzka, Süle and Kimmich in particular will be relieved to hear what Nagelsmann has to say about the staff he will inherit at the Allianz Arena.

Goretzka missed 14 Bayern games last season with a calf injury hampering his campaign; Süle started just 16 of 34 possible league games under Nagelsmann’s predecessor Hansi Flick, and while Kimmich was a cornerstone in the central midfielder, he lined up on the right flank for Germany this summer, with Toni Kroos and Ilkay Gündogan getting the go-ahead in the middle.

Watch: Goretzka and Gnabry combine with devastating effect

Nagelsmann plans to use each of the aforementioned players, however, and in their preferred positions.

“Josh and Leon both have excellent footballing ages,” he said. SportBild. “They are slightly different types of players. Josh feels incredibly comfortable sitting in front of defense and is very good as a No.6 with offensive and defensive skills. Leon is surely one of the best box- players. to-box from Europe, with a huge goal threat and an incredible sense of timing. “

What is happening behind this pivot of midfield seems less clear. Last season’s premier central defensive partnership between David Alaba and Jerome Boateng left the club, and while Dayot Upamecano was signed from RB Leipzig – like Nagelsmann – to help close the gap, Süle can be optimistic about to a slight increase in playing time under his former mentor at Hoffenheim.

Nagelsmann (left) started Süle (right) in 33 of 34 possible Bundesliga games when the pair were at Hoffenheim in 2016/17. – IMAGO / Mika Volkmann

“Niki hasn’t had the happiest season, but he also has all the tools a world-class center-back should have, let’s not forget that,” Nagelsmann said. “If he has the insight to work on his weaknesses and now has a coach who has known him for the Under-16s, I’m confident he will regain his full strength. He knows it, but I think very, very strongly of him. . “

Nagelsmann’s rosters may be nearly impossible to guess for opposition coaches, but it looks like he’s ready to lean on Bayern’s German backbone, which also includes captain Manuel Neuer and talent offensives Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry.

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