On paper, new Bayern Munich signing Noussair Mazraoui is listed as a right-back by trade, but he’s shown during his tenure at Ajax that he can be much more than just that. Under Julian Nagelsmann at Bayern, there will certainly be some tactical tweaking, whether it be a system of a five at the back, three at the back, or even four at the back. Nagelsmann has mentioned previously that he will utilize both a back five and a back three at times throughout the course of the season. He has the flexibility to do so with the depth in defense he possesses, and Mazraoui can technically do more than just play as a standard right-back.
Bayern already has Benjamin Pavard at right-back, though his future at the club is uncertain and he has made it clear that he does prefer a center-back role. Unfortunately for him, Bayern already has plenty of depth at center back and there will be stiff competition for minutes with Mazraoui.
In a recent interview with Tz, Mazraoui explained that he like the way Nagelsmann and his coaching staff approached him, making it very clear to him what was expected of him at the club and what his role would be. “I was impressed by the way Julian Nagelsmann, Hasan Salihamidžić, Marco Neppe and Oliver Kahn spoke to me. I could immediately see something in their ideas. When the coach told me what he expected from me and how he imagined me in the team, it was a kind of visualization for me. It was the best feeling you can have,” he explained.
While there will be obvious competition for places with Pavard, along with Bayern’s added depth in defense, Mazraoui wasn’t purchased to just sit on the bench, and he knows that the starter’s spot is certainly there for the taking. For right back in particular, Mazraoui sees himself as the long-term option for Bayern in that position and knows the club feels the same way, otherwise, they would not have signed him. “The club wouldn’t have signed me if they weren’t convinced that I was the right person for the years to come (for the right-back position). The people in charge believe in me. Now it’s up to me to prove I’m worth their trust,” he said.
Mazraoui can also be an auxiliary midfielder or an attacking midfielder, which he said are both positions that he’s played before during various stages of his career and have significantly helped him develop his overall game. “At first I was an attacking midfielder, but after a while I became a number six and then a right-back. But there was also a season in which I played in almost every position, just not in goal. That really helped me a lot,” he explained.