Leon Goretzka has been doing his part to represent Bayern Munich while away on international duty with Manuel Neuer, Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry, and Niklas Süle — not to mention Sven Ulreich. Besides starting and scoring against Estonia and making a cameo against Belarus, Goretzka has been spotted fraternizing with Bayern’s #1 Most Wanted, Leroy Sané.
Bild caught up with the young star and asked him whether he had tried to make Munich “palatable” to the Manchester star. Goretzka said,
Leroy knows that Munich is a very beautiful city. No one has to make it very palatable to him. He knows that he can always ask me if he needs advice or wants to hear my opinion.
Bild follows up by asking how Goretzka reacted to the news of Bayern’s interest, since a transfer of a star player from the Premier League to the Bundesliga is almost unheard of:
I think that FC Bayern can definitely keep up in that regard. It’s still one of the best and biggest clubs in the world. Leroy knows that. He’s felt really good in England in the past few years. Now he has to decide for himself what the right move is.
Goretzka made no bones about how excited he and his teammates would be (literally, “brutally happy”), if Sané decided the best move is one to Bavaria, but Goretzka insisted from personal experience that the decision is Sané’s to make:
One thing is clear: we would all be ecstatic if he comes. But I’ll be damned if I put him under pressure or influence his opinion. I had a similar situation last year, had to make the decision for myself. And I was also of the opinion that one should do that best alone.
Goretzka, of course, is referring to his then controversial decision not to extend his contract with Schalke 04, but rather to come to Bayern on a free transfer — much to the chagrin of many fans. Goretzka said, “It was absolutely the right decision! Although it wan’t easy...”
As for Goretzka himself, he is very pleased with his first season at Bayern:
I delivered a super first season, played in very many games, could actually consider myself one of the starters. I got lots of goals and assists [9 goals, 7 assists across competitions], integrated wonderfully in the city and club. So I’m satisfied.
The only blemish on his year, in his words, was “that I missed the Pokal final and was not in the best condition for the two Liverpool games. Those are games where you want to stand on the pitch. My goal is to be top-fit for such games next season.”
In the meantime, Goretzka is happy about the way that Germany is now playing:
That’s my kind of soccer, no question. We now have more speed and flexibility. In the game in Holland I was playing right up front with Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sané. It’s simply fun, and it’s soccer that can be very attractive to the fans.
Looking ahead to next season, Goretzka praised Dortmund for their aggressive off-season and gave Schalke a jab: “You should set high goals,” he said. “The fact that Dortmund’s transfer policy in the past few years has been very good is obvious. You can see it in the purchases and sales they make. As hard as it sounds: Schalke can take that as a model.”