Right-backs for Bayern in 2023/24
On the right side of the back four, the choice for Tuchel is not straightforward. Benjamin Pavard was the preferred selection at right back for Thomas Tuchel last season. Pavard reportedly remains keen on leaving Die Roten, so he may not be in the squad by the end of the transfer window. Bayern will be forced to cash in since Pavard has less than 12 months left on his current deal.
Die Roten has identified Manchester City’s Kyle Walker as a replacement for Pavard, but to date, there has been no breakthrough in negotiations. The one sure option currently available for Tuchel in the right-back position is Noussair Mazraoui. The Moroccan right-back joined Bayern last summer on a free transfer from Ajax.
Unfortunately for Mazraoui, he functioned mainly as back-up to Pavard at the start of last season, and later on he contracted Covid-19, during Morocco’s run to the 2022 World Cup semi-final, which resulted in inflammation of the saclike tissue surrounding his heart (Pericarditis). As a result of the pericarditis, he missed the majority of the remainder of the season despite returning to training in February this year.
Mazraoui is the closest thing to a right-footed Alphonso Davies at Bayern, and for that reason, if Tuchel decides on a strategy with dual overlapping full-backs then Mazraoui should thrive in the system. He may not be as fast as Davies, but Mazraoui is tidy and creative on the ball.
Other than Mazraoui, the versatile 23-year-old, Croatia international, Josip Stanisic is a decent option as back-up. Stanisic has the temperament to be a good squad player for Die Roten. He showed his quality while filling in for Pavard last season in the Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain. The Bundesliga champions may end up adding one more right-back to the squad before the end of the transfer window. As things stand, Mazraoui might edge over other options in this position to be the first choice option for Tuchel next season.