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Niko Kovac says he’ll switch to a 5-3-2 if Bayern cannot sign another winger

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Kovac might be forced to make tactical changes if Bayern fails to add more attacking firepower before the transfer window closes.

Photo by A. Beier/Getty Images for FC Bayern

Benjamin Pavard, Lucas Hernandez, and Jann-Fiete Arp are still the only three players Bayern Munich has signed this summer. Niko Kovac has previously said that he’d like to add at least four more players to his squad, but in a recent interview captured by AZ, the Croatian manager states he may switch to a 5-3-2 formation if Bayern fails to reinforce the wings.

The club’s efforts to acquire a top target like Leroy Sané, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and most recently Ousmane Dembélé have not met with success for a variety of reasons. Ideally, Bayern are looking for attacking midfielders to help fill the gaps on the roster left in the wake of the departure of both Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, who ended their Bayern careers at the end of this past season.

With the personnel Kovac already has at his disposal, namely, Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry, and Alphonso Davies, a 5-3-2 or 3-5-2 is definitely feasible. Kovac said,

If we don’t get an additional winger, then we’ll set up a back three from case to case with two outside-backs in an advanced position.

With the concept of having two wing-backs, there’s a decent amount of flexibility Kovac will have with his lineup selections. Niklas Süle, Hernandez, Pavard, Jerome Boateng, and Lars Lukas Mai are all center backs that Kovac could deploy in the back three. Joshua Kimmich, David Alaba, Davies, and also Hernandez and/or Pavard are players that he could use as his wing-backs, as they all posses attacking prowess in addition to their defensive capabilities. Additionally, players like Kimmich, in particular, possess the versatility to play in both defense and the midfield. He’s a player that Kovac said can play in multiple positions with his ability on both sides of the ball:

He has an enormous pull forward and is very efficient there. Anything’s possible [with Kimmich].

Kovac has predominantly used Kimmich as a right-back and has only deputized him as a central defensive midfielder a handful of times. According to AZ, however, Kimmich would like most of all to play in the central midfield and direct the game. With the defensive depth that Kovac has available to choose from, that wouldn’t be too difficult to accommodate if he felt that Kimmich could be more useful in midfield.

Regardless, the flexibility is there if the 3-5-2 or 5-3-2 formation has to be utilized. There’s still plenty of time left in the transfer window for changes to be made, but Kovac has to plan accordingly for what the squad will look like in the event Bayern fail to make any more signings, especially offensive signings.

Here’s how the starting eleven could potentially look with the current squad:

(Be sure to let us know in the comments how would line the squad up in a 5-3-2 or 3-5-2)