It hasn’t been an easy couple of weeks for Leon Goretzka. After being forced to watch his country struggle through the opening two games of the World Cup campaign from the sidelines, the new Bayern Munich man was thrown in the deep end for Germany’s crucial clash with South Korea.
Despite being a very talented central midfielder player, Joachim Löw bemusingly opted to place Goretzka on the wing. It was a decision which, unsurprisingly, crippled the 23-year-old’s performance throughout the contest, and his ineffectiveness led directly to his substitution just after the hour mark. We all know what happened afterwards as South Korea scored twice in injury time to eliminate the World Champions from the tournament they claimed in 2014.
That means that Goretzka can now fully focus on his summer move to Bavaria. Despite the abundance of talent already established in Bayern’s midfield, Goretzka has warned his new team-mates, “I didn’t transfer to Munich to sit on the bench” (Sport Bild). Goretzka believes he can add his own qualifies to the side, “I’m bit of a different footballer from most of the others we have in the midfield. I try to bring momentum into midfield and open up holes with deep runs.”
The former Schalke maestro won’t be the only new arrival at the Bundesliga champions training camp this year, as the departure of Jupp Heynckes paved the way for Niko Kovac to take the next step in his blossoming managerial career. Goretzka is familiar with the workings of the Croatian coach, having played against him multiple times in the Bundesliga, and is looking forward to working alongside his new boss:
We still played twice against Frankfurt after [Kovac’s] annoucnement. We were able to exchange a few words here and there.
Goretzka is particularly looking forward to working with Kovac for his ability to develop young players. That was apparently one of Bayern’s biggest selling points in convincing him to join the team:
He’s a young coach who is also interested in developing players. That’s incredibly important to me personally. Bayern had already made it clear to me that a coach would be coming who would satisfy this criterion.
Rudy also ready for the next challenge
Goretzka’s arrival, of course, places pressure on the midfielders currently at the club. And though some may view Sebastian Rudy as being at the bottom end of the selection order, the 28-year-old is ready for the challenge of impressing his new manager
“It’s a new beginning for me in Munich,” said Rudy (Bild via TZ ):
A new coach has his own ideas, his own philosophy, asks other things [of you]. I want to meet Niko Kovac, talk to him. Then we’ll see how it goes.
While the disappointment of their first World Cup is bound to sting for a while, Goretzka and Rudy must put the troubles of the past behind them as they return to Bayern in a bid to impress the new regime.