bundesliga

Thomas Müller, Joshua Kimmich and Kingsley Coman: The best supporting cast in world football?

Everyone with even a passing interest in world football knows about the goals of Robert Lewandowski, but what about his supporting cast at Bayern Munich?

bundesliga.com shines a spotlight on Thomas Müller, Joshua Kimmich and Kingsley Coman: the leading assisters in the Bundesliga in 2020/21 and the perfect supporting cast to Lewandowski.

Müller-ed

Last season's record-breaking campaign from Müller may have come as a shock to some, but it shouldn't have. Bayern's Raumdeuter became the first Bundesliga player to record 21 assists in a single campaign, beating the previous record of 20 held by Kevin de Bruyne, now of Manchester City.

Watch: All of Müller's goals and assists in 2019/20

But Müller, who currently sits on nine assists in 2020/21, has only failed to provide 10 or more assists in just one of the previous 11 full seasons in his Bundesliga career. Bayern's 'space-interpreter' may be difficult to define as a player, but he is certainly the perfect support for Lewandowski.

"It's better if I can play alongside someone in attack," said Lewandowski in December. "With Thomas next to me it's easier. He helps me a lot. We complement each other very well."

In fact, Müller (5) has provided the most assists of any player to Lewandowski for his 24 goals so far in 2020/21. In total, the 100-time Germany international has assisted 34 of Lewandowski's 186 Bundesliga goals for Bayern - the most of any player. Müller's advantage in this regard comes from usually being the closest in support of Bayern's No.9 in attack, deployed as an unconventional No.10 behind the leading man.

Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller are the perfect partnership in attack for Bayern. - Lars Baron/Getty Images

String-puller Kimmich

Then there is Kimmich. The 25-year-old has hit stunning form following his return from a torn meniscus at the end of 2020, with five assists and one goal in his last six games in the German top flight. Despite only playing 13 league game so far this season, Kimmich sits above Müller and the rest of the league's providers on 10 assists for the campaign.

Kimmich is the undisputed crossing king at Bayern, and perhaps across the whole Bundesliga. The Germany international takes corners and most set pieces for the record German champions, but - as he showed against Schalke on Matchday 18 with his hat-trick of assists - can also provide the killer pass with a defence-splitting pass from a deeper midfield position, exploiting the cardinal sin of allowing Lewandowski to find space in behind.

Wherever Kimmich is on the pitch, the midfielder is deadly on the ball.

Watch: Kimmich - Bayern's indispensable leader

Assist King-sley Coman

Completing the completely red podium at the top of the Bundesliga assists charts is Coman; a player whose reputation is as nascent as anybody's.

While Serge Gnabry made headline-grabbing performances in Bayern's title-winning campaign, and Leroy Sane was the star summer signing, Coman has quietly continued to prove that he is just as indispensable to Bayern's team as Müller and Kimmich.

Four of the Frenchman's nine assists so far this season have been for Lewandowski to score and, in comparison to his wing partners - Gnabry (1), Sane (5) and Douglas Costa (1) who have combined for seven assists - is far and away the most productive wide man for Hansi Flick's side so far in 2020/21.

Kingsley Coman (l.) is a huge part of Bayern's success over the last 12 months. - Simon Hofmann/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

Coman provides the perfect balance between break-neck speed and dribbling delights which make the scorer of Bayern's UEFA Champions League-winning goal against Paris-Saint Germain in August almost impossible to defend.

Lewandowski can create his own goals, feed of scraps, and score with both feet and his head, but his 24 goals from 19 Bundesliga games might well have been less without such a supporting cast.

Müller (5), Kimmich (3) and Coman (4) have been the creative sparks behind 12 of Lewandowski's 24 goals so far, though Bayern's frontman has been assisted by a total of nine different teammates in the current campaign.

Watch: Bayern's world-class stable of wingers

If you can stop the closest man to Lewandowski in Müller, then Kimmich will test your resolve from set pieces. If you survive dead-ball situations, you'll surely suffer when chasing Coman to the byline before he brings the ball back into the box.

And heaven forbid you come through those three tasks unscathed, the rest of the Bayern squad - Costa, Gnabry, Leon Goretzka, Jerome Boateng, Lucas Hernandez and Chris Richards, who have provided assists for Lewandowski in 2020/21 - will step up to make the decisive pass for their star-striker to find the back of the net.