In a recent interview with Bild, Julian Nagelsmann sung his praises for Bayern Munich’s dual midfield pivot of Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich. Over the past two seasons, the pair has become one of the most effective midfield units in Europe and they’ve become the metronome of what makes Bayern tick.
At RB Leipzig, Nagelsmann often experimented with shuffling between a back three and a back four, which alters the midfield personnel. However, he’s already made it clear that he plans on working with a back four predominantly at Bayern, meaning that both Goretzka and Kimmich can carry on with their midfield roles, where they are most effective. Their collective abilities, Nagelsmann said, compliment each other so well for what makes Bayern’s system work even though they are two slightly different types of midfielders. “Josh and Leon are different types of players. Josh feels comfortable in front of the defense as a central 6 with great attacking and defensive qualities. Leon is one of the best box-to-box players in Europe. He has incredible goal threat and knows when to bomb forward,” he explained.
As we saw at the Euros with Joachim Löw and the German national team, Kimmich also possesses the ability to play as a right-back, as he’s also done for Bayern in the past. While it’s not his preferred position, he can do a job there and had to fill in for Benjamin Pavard there during Bayern’s crucial Champions League knockouts campaign in the 2019/2020 treble-winning season.
Nagelsmann knows that he always has the utility option of using Kimmich as a right-back when it’s absolutely needed, though he wants him in midfield as much as possible. “I’m planning with him in the middle. But he also knows that sometimes you have to switch in-game. He’s a world class number 6. I’m not planning with him as a right-back, but I cannot rule out that there could be situations where we have to adjust,” he explained.