Joshua Kimmich (r.) can expect to play in central midfield under Julian Nagelsmann (l.) at Bayern Munich next season. - © IMAGO / ActionPictures
Joshua Kimmich (r.) can expect to play in central midfield under Julian Nagelsmann (l.) at Bayern Munich next season. - © IMAGO / ActionPictures
bundesliga

Julian Nagelsmann planning with Joshua Kimmich in central midfield at Bayern Munich

Joshua Kimmich can expect to play in central midfield under Julian Nagelsmann at Bayern Munich next season, having been used on the right flank in Germany's recent UEFA Euro 2020 campaign.

Kimmich burst onto the scene with Bayern and Germany as a right-back, and was voted the UEFA Champions League Defender of the Season in 2019/20, despite having already made the switch to his now-preferred midfield role.

With 10 assists in the Bundesliga last season, as well as a league-high 230 progressive passes, Hansi Flick's decision to play Kimmich in midfield in all but one of his 27 league games was more than vindicated.

The presence of Real Madrid's Toni Kroos and Manchester City's 13-goal top scorer Ilkay Gündogan - alongside Bayern teammate Leon Goretzka - left Germany well-manned in the position this summer, though, and Kimmich reverted to the right-hand side to make space.

Watch: Sabitzer and Kimmich tactically compared

Would Nagelsmann - a coach with a predilection for a 3-4-3 system with wingbacks - be tempted to do the same at Bayern?

"That's a good question," said the 33-year-old tactician, who swapped RB Leipzig for Bayern in July. "Basically, I plan to use him centrally. But I'm still a big fan of having players who can play in different positions."

Nagelsmann used a number of different formations last season, often within the same game. His captain, Marcel Sabitzer, was repurposed as a deep-lying playmaker having previously been a winger, and he sees Kimmich in a similar light.

"It's always important to be able to make certain adjustments in the game," he said. "But most of the time I plan with him in the control room."

Bayern play Cologne, Ajax, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Napoli in pre-season before opening the defence of their Bundesliga title against Gladbach on Friday 13 August.