In a recent interview with Bild+, Julian Nagelsmann revealed that he is planning on potentially using Serge Gnabry as a right wing back on an as needed basis. Bayern Munich is still in the market for a backup right-back for Benjamin Pavard, but it’s not likely that they’ll be able to make any decent quality signings the rest of this summer having already singed Dayot Upamecano from RB Leipzig and Omar Richards from Reading FC.
While he predominantly has played as a winger for Bayern under Hansi Flick, Niko Kovac, and Jupp Heynckes, Gnabry also possesses the ability to play centrally, or even as a striker or false 9. For the German national team, he’s occupied that striker’s role quite well in the past, but like the majority of Die Mannschaft’s squad, didn’t have the best of outings at this summer’s European Championships.
“If he finds out now while on vacation, he probably won’t applaud,” Nagelsmann joked when he was asked about the subject of using Gnabry as a right wing back. “That wouldn’t be his parade position. He’s actually played it for me in Hoffenheim, but it’s not a top-notch solution for me,” he continued. Of course, Gnabry spent the 2017/2018 season on loan at TSG Hoffenheim before returning to Bayern the season after, so Nagelsmann already has a certain degree of familiarity with him and what he can and can’t expect from him.
While right wing-back may be an option for Gnabry when it’s needed, Nagelsmann knows where the 25-year-old is best utilized. “Serge’s position is more in the center of the front, on ten, in half space or on the wing, that’s where he plays his best. It’s always about thinking: How do our opponents play? So it can be an option, but certainly not the solution for 34 game days,” Bayern’s new manager explained.