Bayern Munich: Noussair Mazraoui relishing competition with Benjamin Pavard

Bayern Munich right-back Noussair Mazraoui enjoying competition from Benjamin Pavard. (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Bayern Munich right-back Noussair Mazraoui enjoying competition from Benjamin Pavard. (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Bayern Munich tried to add more quality in the right-back position over the last three summer windows. The club hierarchy was pleased with the performances of Benjamin Pavard in this role, but Bayern needed one more player to add quality depth in this area.

After missing out on Sergino Dest, Die Roten signed Bouna Sarr from Marseille in 2020. The Senegalese defender has struggled for consistent game time and form in the last two seasons. He will mostly leave the club when the transfer window opens next summer since he is not part of Julian Nagelsmann’s plans.

The record Bundesliga champions turned their attention towards Noussair Mazraoui from Ajax to address this position. He has steadily established himself as one of the most promising right-backs in Europe. They managed to beat competition from various big clubs to sign Mazraoui on a free transfer in the summer.

Die Roten started the season with Pavard as the first-choice right-back as Mazraoui was steadily integrated into the first team. In the past few weeks, Mazraoui has forced his way into the team with impressive performances. While talking to AZ over the weekend, Mazraoui insisted that he is relishing competition from Pavard. The Moroccan full-back was not worried about the slow start to the season since he was confident about getting chances as the season progressed.

"“It’s a good competition, a healthy duel. We both bring out the best in each other, which is good for us. At the moment you can’t say one of us won this competition. It’s important we constantly improve and have this competition in the team.”"

Mazraoui provided a different dynamic in the right-back position since he is much more proactive than Pavard in the final third. Meanwhile, Pavard is secure defensively. Both players can perform at a good level at both ends of the pitch, so it is a welcome selection headache for Julian Nagelsmann.

The former Ajax full-back announced himself as a Bayern player when he delivered a solid performance against Barcelona in September. He came on for injured Pavard and helped Die Roten to clinch victory along with keeping a clean sheet. Mazraoui has consistently improved since the breakthrough performance against Barcelona.

The Moroccan full-back is likely to get better with more game time under his belt. A slow start to the season was expected for Noussair Mazraoui since players take time to adapt after moving to a new country and league.

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Mazraoui is expected to get his third consecutive start on Tuesday against Inter Milan. The Moroccan defender will play in the right-back position, while Benjamin Pavard will slot in the heart of the defense. The French international will replace injured Matthijs de Ligt in the central defense.