It’s taken time, but Leon Goretzka has established himself as a core midfielder at Bayern Munich. Goretzka enjoyed a perfect start to his Rückrunde in Bayern’s 3-1 win over Hoffenheim, scoring two goals and playing for the full 90 minutes. Niko Kovac has shown a clear preference to starting him in midfield, which was not necessarily the case in the opening stages of the season.
34' ⚽️— Goal (@goal) January 21, 2019
Leon Goretzka was at the double for Bayern Munich against Hoffenheim on Friday ✌️ pic.twitter.com/4tSNMzd3fA
Although he has worked hard to earn a consistent starting spot, in a recent interview with TZ, Goretzka said that he has always believed he would succeed at Bayern. He feels that he’s done well adapting to life with the record German champions and has grown to be an integral piece of Kovac’s preferred midfield setup:
I think that I’ve managed it really well — with lots of starts and minutes, although we initially rotated a lot. Afterward, I quickly could count myself as part of the core that is set to start on the pitch. I never had a problem with my self-confidence. You need to hold your head high to play at Bayern.
Looking forward, Goretzka has set the bar high for both himself and for Bayern. Specifically, Goretzka wants titles and goals:
I’d like to build on the first half of the year; I’ve also set myself some personal goals. During our time together at Schalke, our assistant coach Peter Hermann told me I have to score ten goals a season. Ultimately, I also want to win titles. For me, it would be the worst if we aren’t champions.
When asked whether he considers himself bonafide “starter” now, Goretzka demurred and cited instead how frequently he’s been starting matches:
I can dispense with the expression [i.e. Stammspieler, “starter”] in public when I’m always standing on the pitch.
Goretzka added that he only sees himself “on the pitch” in important matches, That’s exactly the type of confidence Kovac will expect from the 23-year-old.