There are currently a handful of players going through difficult contract negotiations at Bayern Munich, but Julian Nagelsmann is focusing all of his attention on preparations for the upcoming season with all of the players he currently has in the squad. All of the Euro 2020 stars still aren’t back from their respective holidays yet, but will be back at Sabener Strasse before Bayern’s competitive season kicks off in the DFB-Pokal against Bremer SV on August 6th.
Leon Goretzka, Niklas Sule, Kingsley Coman, and Joshua Kimmich all still have contracts that need to get sorted, but Coman seems to be the only player of the bunch that has concretely expressed interest in leaving the club, as his agent, Pini Zahavi, has made clear. Despite this, Nagelsmann is really focusing working with the players he has and in a recent interview with kicker (via Sport Bild/Az), he highlighted wingers Coman, Leroy Sane, and Serge Gnabry, saying that he really has high expectations for them this season.
Following in the footsteps of Hansi Flick’s impressive tenure as Bayern manager, Nagelsmann knows that he cannot afford too many slip-ups and he said he doesn’t want to have any sort of “revolutionary redesign” when it comes to Bayern’s tactics and style of play. “I don’t have to turn everything upside down,” he said.
Speaking on his main trio of wingers, he said, “all three are of outstanding quality, but the rate is even better.” More specifically, he wants to focus on on his attackers controlling possession and working in unison on their counter-pressing when they lose the ball. He said he expects “a courageous opening of the game without many long balls” and a level of control “through good and frequent counter-pressing,” which is something his RB Leipzig side did so well, especially when they squared up against Bayern.
As Nagelsmann had eluded to when he said he didn’t want to make too many big tactical changes from the way Bayern played under Hansi Flick, but even Flick had to make adjustments throughout the course of the past season and a half. Bayern would often rotate when they would employ a heavy counter press lead by Robert Lewandowski, Coman, Gnabry, Sane, and/or Thomas Muller. There would also be added bodies in the press with how advanced up the pitch Alphonso Davies and Benjamin Pavard would get, but there’s always the susceptibility of leaving themselves too exposed. Flick had to have conversations with Sane, in particular, to work harder to track back and offer more on the defensive side of the ball, but as the season progressed, he did get better with that.
It’s a balance that Naglesmann will have to strike, but he realizes that, at times, he’ll have to make “small development steps in the places where things are not going so well.” Still, from what he’s already seen since taking charge of the club earlier this month, he’s noticed “an outstanding mentality plus outstanding quality” in and around the club.