The start of the new campaign has been serene for Bayern Munich in terms of results. They have managed to win four out of their five wins across all competitions. Thomas Tuchel has not heavily rotated the team since results and performances are steadily improving with the same personnel.
The right-back position was up for grabs at the start of the Bundesliga campaign due to speculation about the future of Benjamin Pavard. The French defender sealed a move away to Inter Milan in the final week of the transfer window. Pavard has been the mainstay in the right-back position for Bayern in the last four seasons.
Noussair Mazraoui started the first three Bundesliga games in the right-back position for Bayern. The Moroccan defender did a decent job in these games, but he had a difficult outing against Borussia Monchengladbach before the international break. Konrad Laimer came on for him at half-time and delivered a solid performance.
The Austrian midfielder has not looked back since coming on against Gladbach. He started in the same role against Bayer Leverkusen and Manchester United. While talking to the media ahead of the game against VfL Bochum (via iMiaSanMia), Tuchel admitted that Laimer is currently ahead of Mazraoui in the right-back position.
"“Nous has to fight, fight, fight and be there when the opportunity comes. He has to fight and stay positive. Konrad Laimer is currently ahead. We don’t need to talk about his talent or understanding of the game, he’s absolutely top.”"
Mazraoui endured a difficult debut campaign at Bayern after arriving from Ajax last year. He struggled for game time and also had to be on the sidelines for a couple of months due to health complications caused by COVID-19 infection. Rekordmeister insisted that Mazraoui remained part of their long-term plans despite speculation about his future.
The Moroccan defender will have more opportunities as the season progresses since Laimer will move into midfield for a few games. Mazraoui may reevaluate his future at Bayern next summer if he doesn’t get an adequate amount of game time this season. The Bavarian club is expected to look for a versatile defender in January who will replace Pavard in the squad.
For now, Noussair Mazraoui has to work hard in the training and make the most out of the opportunities he will get from the bench. The 25-year-old right-back may get an opportunity to start against VfL Bochum on Saturday since Laimer played 90 minutes against Manchester United on Wednesday.
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Apart from the right-back position, Tuchel does have a welcome selection headache in the attack. Mathys Tel once again came off the bench on Wednesday and scored a crucial goal. The French forward is pushing for a place in the team, but other forwards are also doing a fine job.