Injuries, frustration, and controversy surrounded Julian Green's loan spell at Hamburger SV, but the drama was at its climax when Hamburg tried to get Green time with the reserve team. Speaking with the Guardian, the 19-year-old voiced his disdain with the prospect of once again playing in the fourth division.
"When you are coming back from an injury or have not been on the pitch for 90 minutes over a period of weeks, a match with the U-23s can be helpful. Green tells the Guardian. "But fourth division is not a solution for me and it will not get me anywhere."
His time with Hamburger SV II lasted just one match. That match was against FC St. Pauli II in the Regionalliga North, and head coach Daniel Patrowsky played Green the full 90 minutes. According to an account from kicker, those 90 minutes featured only back passes and a lot of jogging from Green. Hamburg did not try that experiment again the rest of the season, and appeared on just one team sheet for the first team the rest of the season.
Green's playing time the rest of his loan spell came in United States colors, head coach Jürgen Klinsmann calling him in for friendlies against Denmark, Sweden, and Mexico. The Bayern Munich academy product then started five matches in the FIFA Youth Festival in Toulon, helping the United States U23 team achieve a third-place finish in the tournament. Despite Green's actions at Hamburg, Klinsmann did not fault for the way he acted at Hamburg.
"No, we are not disappointed [with how Julian has handled the situation at Hamburg]," says Klinsmann. "Julian took the risk to leave his nest in Munich and go as a 19-year-old person to another club, very different, gets into the relegation battle of a very big German club, and has four different coaches in one year, so it didn’t work out the way we all hoped.
"He struggled, and we want him to struggle as well, you know, at certain moments. The youngsters have to go through those roller coasters, they are learning. He had this extreme long year, and he plays [at the Toulon Tournament where the US finished third] which for us, actually is big result.
"He needs a break now, now we give him a break. He goes back to Bayern Munich, Bayern will sort out what his next step will be. Sometimes it’s good to throw them in the cold water … and sometimes it’s better to take them out of the cold water, and let them breathe a second there."
Green said he is looking forward to returning to Bayern this summer, but he has not spoken to the club about what the future holds for him.