Is this how Bayern Munich will line up under Vincent Kompany in 2024/25? - © DFL
Is this how Bayern Munich will line up under Vincent Kompany in 2024/25? - © DFL

How will Bayern Munich line up under Vincent Kompany?


Bayern Munich have appointed Vincent Kompany as their new head coach. How will the Bundesliga's record champions line up under the Manchester City legend?

Bayern and Thomas Tuchel have parted ways, with Kompany arriving in his stead from his most recent role with Burnley. 

The Clarets may have been relegated from the Premier League in the season just gone, but Kompany won plaudits for how he got them promoted from the Championship in the previous campaign, and the Belgian former Hamburg centre-back also has the German language in his locker.

Bayern aren't used to being denied the Bundesliga title - they had won the last 11 before Bayer Leverkusen swept them away - and this summer will provide a period of reflection in Munich.

How Kompany sets up his team next term will be key to them bouncing back. takes a closer look at how he might do so…

Harry Kane - if not Aleksandar Pavlović - was perhaps Thomas Tuchel's biggest win last season. - DFL

The first place to look might be the players Kompany now has at his disposal - and his squad in Munich is one of the most talented in the world, third-place finish last season or not.

Tuchel invariably lined his side up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Harry Kane at its point. The England captain quickly made good on his club record transfer from Tottenham Hotspur, and ended the season with a league-high 36 goals to his name, adding another eight on Bayern's run to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals

Behind him, Leroy Sané, Jamal Musiala and Thomas Müller were the most-used players in the final third, and enjoyed 23, 20 and 19 direct goal-involvements across all competitions, respectively.

Watch: All 36 of Harry Kane's Bundesliga goals

Repeated injuries to Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman were frustrating, but the emergence of Matthys Tel was a positive, the French youngster proving his super-sub credentials with six of his 10 goals coming off the bench. 

Tuchel can leave claiming he gave youth a chance. As well as the 19-year-old Tel, Aleksandar Pavlović, who turned 20 in May, became a mainstay of his midfield, to the point that Joshua Kimmich was repurposed as a right-back midway through the campaign.

At centre-back was where Tuchel seemed least sure of his team, with Kim Min-jae, Dayot Upamecano, Matthijs de Ligt and Eric Dier all passing double digits for starts in the Bundesliga. Kompany, a former centre-back himself, might be expected to settle on his favoured partnership more quickly.

Burnley struggled last season shorn of Nathan Tella and Ian Maatsen. - DFL

Kompany mostly played a 4-4-2 with Burnley last season, a formation he switched to full-time in November following a 2-1 loss to Bournemouth. The Turf Moor outfit may have ultimately gone down, but after the change they had held Manchester United and Chelsea, and beat Sheffield United 5-0 and 4-1.

Kompany wasn't helped by a mass exodus last summer. Burnley qualified for the Premiership with seven games left to play - a Championship record - but key players subsequently left: 17-goal top scorer Nathan Tella is now a Bundesliga champion with Leverkusen; Ian Maatsen played in a Champions League final with Borussia Dortmund.

Ian Maatsen (l.) and Nathan Tella (r.) helped Burnley to Premier League promotion before going onto greater successes in Germany. - IMAGO / PA Images

Nonetheless, there are clear patterns across the two seasons. Kompany prefers a possession-based, attacking style of play. A centre-back at City across 11 years which took in 12 major honours, he clearly has a preference for a partnership in central defence - no back threes to be seen here.

What goes on up ahead might be more prone to variation. At Bayern he can be active rather than reactive in his approach. But inverted wingers Wilson Odobert and Jóhann Guðmundsson offer a clue, as do attacking full-backs Charlie Taylor and Vitinho.

Zeki Amdouni and Lyle Foster was a strike partnership in which returned just 10 Premier League goals, but they were given all season to work on their understanding…

Burnley's system with Bayern's players? - DFL

So, what might that mean for Kompany's Bayern? 

He might revert to a 4-2-3-1 - the players are certainly used to it at the Allianz Arena - but Bayern also certainly have the personnel to populate a 4-4-2 in a way that would terrify almost any opponent.

Robert Lewandowski scored many of his 344 Bayern goals before leaving for Barcelona in 2022 with Müller alongside him in attack, and Kane, who previously had a formidable partnership with Son Heung-min at Spurs, might relish playing with the Raumdeuter in closer company.

Watch: Kane under the tactical microscope

Müller and Musiala were two players into one position at times last season, with both preferring the No.10 position, but a move to a 4-4-2 could more easily accommodate both, with the right-footed Musiala cutting inside from the left flank to score or assist from a half-space inside.

With the left-footed Sané on the opposite flank, the most attacking full-backs on Bayern's books, Alphonso Davies and Noussair Mazraoui, would be given license to overlap. The latter would allow Kimmich to be restored to midfield, where he has previously made it clear he would rather play.

And at centre-back, Kompany might see a lot of himself in Kim and De Ligt, although if they are too similar he has options. Irrespective of his preferred partnership, the whole thing will underpinned by club captain Manuel Neuer for another season, hopefully one that is injury-free this time.

Watch: Kompany on having "the best job in the world"