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What Kingsley Coman’s contract extension means for Bayern Munich’s squad planning, future formation

Kingsley Coman’s future seems set, but what about everyone around him?

FC Bayern München v DSC Arminia Bielefeld - Bundesliga Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images

The recent news that Bayern Munich and Kingsley Coman are closing in on a contract extension should have a trickle down effect on the club’s squad planning and how Julian Nagelsmann aligns his squad.

Let’s take a brief look at how Coman’s (alleged) new deal will affect those areas:

Personnel

With Coman, Sane, and Musiala all locked up — and Gnabry reportedly set to ink his own deal shortly — it would seem that wing position will be settled for years to come (if there is actually a wing position needed — more on that in the next section).

SS Lazio v Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg One
Bayern Munich has massive talent on the wings.
Photo by Christina Pahnke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

So, what does that mean for the rumored pursuits of players like Leeds United star Raphinha, Juventus winger Federico Chiesa, or even former Bayern Munich academy product Wooyeong Jeong?

Those moves (dreams?) probably are not happening — there is a A LOT of money tied up in the position at Bayern Munich.

As for the youngsters in the academy, well, this signing could be a signal for many of them to start looking elsewhere:

  • 18-year-old Amindo Sieb was recently denied a chance to move to Hannover 96 in favor of helping Bayern Munich II get back into 3. Liga. If successful, the club wants him to remain with the team to help the squad stay “up.” For an ambitious youngster — who no doubt has a crafty agent — the lip service about the club liking him likely will not hold much weight. Should other clubs start identifying Sieb as a potential first team player and have a first team spot to offer, the youngster will have to think hard about a transfer. Sieb’s current deal expires in 2023.
  • Nemanja Motika has exploded this season, but at 18 years old, he is nearing the point where he will be ready for first team football (if he is not already). That pathway at his position seems blocked to say the least and for a talent like Motika, waiting around is not always an easy task.
  • At 16 years old, Arijon Ibrahimovic is not in as pressing a situation as his slightly older teammates, but the youngster is considered a campus gem and on the accelerated track to the first team. Ibrahimovic has the ability to move across a few positions, but he could also be looking at the logjam ahead of him as well.

It seems like Sieb is being counted to stay with Bayern Munich II, while Motika could end up inking a new deal and then leaving on a loan to pursue first-team.

Of course, the collective injury history of Coman, Gnabry, and Sane could see opportunities arise for many youngsters to at least dress for games...but do they want to wait around for someone to get hurt in hopes of getting a chance to prove themselves?

Formation

There has been some thought that Julian Nagelsmann will eventually shift to a back-three formation that would utilize three center-backs, two wing-backs, and three central attackers.

Right now, the squad somewhat morphs into this alignment on offense as Alphonso Davies attacks as a left wing-back, Benjamin Pavard slides back to function more as a third center-back, and Leroy Sane joins Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski in the center of the attacking third.

The right-wing (often Coman) is a bit of wild card. Sometimes wide, sometimes central, that position is basically able to freelance.

Regardless of all of that, long-term commitments to Sane, Coman, Musiala and likely one more to Gnabry would seem to indicate that there might be a plan to let the quartet play as traditional 4-2-3-1 wingers.

Will that happen or will Nagelsmann continue to tinker and try innovative roles within his formation?

We’ll see.

Overall

Coman’s evolution as a player at Bayern Munich has been a wild ride. Exciting, frustrating, puzzling, and dynamic are just some of the adjectives used to describe him over the years, but it appears that things have clicked for him over the past two-and-a-half years.

More often than not, Coman is a disruptive force and makes just about every defense uncomfortable. From the standpoint of Coman and Bayern Munich, the contract extension was a no-brainer. For the youngsters on campus, though, the deal could represent another reason to start looking elsewhere.

In summation, this is a good problem to have if you are Bayern Munich, but one that will require solutions for the club’s young players.