Thomas Tuchel, who took over as Bayern Munich’s manager in March, now has a full pre-season and transfer window to shape the team according to his preferences.

Thomas Tuchel

With the recent signings of Min-jae Kim, Konrad Laimer, and Raphael Guerreiro, there are questions about how Bayern will line up in the 2023/24 season.

In the past decade, Bayern had adhered to the traditional German tactical approach of 4-2-3-1. However, Tuchel’s predecessor, Julian Nagelsmann, introduced more on-field flexibility to the team’s play. The line-up on paper often differed from the set-up during a match, especially in defense. The nominal back four would turn into a back three out of possession, with Alphonso Davies pushing forward on the left and Benjamin Pavard tucking inside to ensure defensive cover. This asymmetrical use of full-backs became well-known.

Upfront, Nagelsmann emphasized versatility, and after the departure of Robert Lewandowski, Bayern often played without a traditional center-forward, relying on players like Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

When Tuchel arrived, he retained some of these aspects while abandoning others. He initially favored a 4-2-3-1 formation, but he introduced fluidity by occasionally switching to a 4-1-4-1 shape, with one central midfielder pushing forward. In his most-used XI during his initial 12 matches in charge, injuries to Davies and Choupo-Moting forced changes. Joao Cancelo, on loan from Manchester City, took over the left-back position, while Serge Gnabry became the nominal striker. Leon Goretzka and Dayot Upamecano were essential figures, though Upamecano faced some injury issues. On the wings, Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman flanked Thomas Müller and Jamal Musiala or played alongside Goretzka when he dropped deep.

A notable point was Joshua Kimmich’s role as an anchor and playmaker in midfield, which reportedly left Tuchel unsatisfied. Consequently, Bayern signed Konrad Laimer from RB Leipzig and Raphael Guerreiro from Borussia Dortmund, both on free transfers, to address this concern.

Looking forward to the 2023/24 season, Tuchel has an array of options to choose from. With the addition of Min-jae Kim, the defense gains more depth and competitiveness, providing Tuchel with additional tactical flexibility. The full-back positions will be highly contested, with Davies, Cancelo, Pavard, and newcomers Kim, Laimer, and Guerreiro vying for starting spots.

In midfield, Kimmich will likely continue to play a pivotal role, but Tuchel now has the option to rotate and experiment with Laimer and Guerreiro. Additionally, Goretzka and Upamecano’s fitness will be crucial in shaping the central defensive pairing.

The attacking options remain formidable, with Gnabry, Sane, Coman, Müller, and Musiala providing different attacking dynamics. The potential return of Choupo-Moting from injury will further bolster the forward line.

As Tuchel has a full pre-season to work with the squad and integrate the new signings, Bayern Munich fans can expect exciting football with fluid tactical variations that play to the strengths of the talented players at the club. The team’s depth and adaptability will be crucial in tackling multiple competitions throughout the season. Under Tuchel’s guidance, Bayern aims to continue their legacy of success and dominate both domestically and in European competitions

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