Leon Goretzka may be preparing for Germany’s crucial World Cup Group F against Sweden on Saturday, but that hasn’t stopped former teammate Benedikt Howedes from talking the youngster up in an interview with BILD. Howedes, who spent last year on loan at Juventus, played alongside Bayern’s newly acquired midfielder during their time at Schalke, and he believes that the 23-year-old has all the potential needed to be a success in Munich.
Höwedes, who is expected to return to Gelsenkirchen following an injury-riddled loan spell in Italy, said,
Leon has the potential for a career at such a big club. He has precisely the quality to make it at Bayern. Of course, the leap from Schalke to Bayern still has to be made. But he can manage that no problem. I absolutely believe he can do it.
Of course, there isn’t much doubt regarding Goretzka’s ability. But it is equally certain that it will be hard for him to break into a midfield featuring Arturo Vidal, Sebastian Rudy, Corentin Tolisso and Thiago, amongst others. Höwedes acknowledges that it will be difficult for Goretzka to assert himself immediately with so much competition for a place:
Leon has to learn that you’ll also sometimes sit on the bench at Bayern Munich. That’s just how it is with so many stars on the roster. That’s nothing against Leon either, but Bayern just have 17 or 18 world-class players. You just don’t always start games.
Despite Goretzka’s situation, Höwedes firmly believes his comrade will eventually make the breakthrough, and the World Cup is a great platform for Goretzka to showcase his talent and garner even more experience on the big stage.
Leon is ambitious, very talented — he has the will and already a great deal of experience for his age. He has been a national player for four years and will now gain even more experience at the World Cup.
Bayern fans can’t wait to see how their new signing fares, but for now the majority of the supporters, and Goretzka himself, are focused on ensuring that Germany manage to grab a positive result against Sweden on Saturday.