Some good news for a change. Bayern Munich defender Niklas Sule, the premier claimant to the title of “best German defender”, is well on the road to recovery. The 24-year-old giant suffered an ACL tear against Augsburg back in October, which has kept him out of the squad for several months. According to TZ reporter Manuel Bonke, Sule has suffered no setbacks thus far:
Die Reha von Niklas #Süle läuft nach Plan: Es gab bisher keine Rückschläge und er soll demnächst wieder vollumfänglich (ohne Gewichtsreduzierung) ins Lauftraining einsteigen. Der #FCBayern hat für ihn einen ausgewogenen Ernährungsplan ausgearbeitet, an den er sich strikt hält.— Manuel Bonke (@mano_bonke) February 6, 2020
Niklas #Süle’s rehab is going according to plan: there have been no setbacks so far and he should soon start running again without any weight loss. #FCBayern have worked out a balanced nutrition plan for him, which he strictly adheres to.
For anyone who knows the kind of shenanigans he gets up to, the news that Sule has abandoned his usual junk food for a strict diet tells you how serious he is on making a comeback. Sule, who already ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament once before in his youth, has to manage his recovery especially carefully to prevent issues in the future.
It might be too early to expect him to play a part in any big games this season — certainly, this month’s game against Chelsea in the Champions League is totally out of the question. David Alaba has stepped up to fill the leadership vacuum in defense, allowing Sule to rest easy and not worry about rushing his recovery for the sake of his club.
The national team, on the other hand, is a completely different story. In Sule’s absence, Matthias Ginter and Antonio Rudiger are Germany’s best defenders, which tells you all you need to know, really. Let’s not even mention Jonathan Tah. Jogi Low is too stubborn to recall Jerome Boateng or Mats Hummels to the squad, which leaves Die Mannschaft with a total of ZERO capable defenders outside Sule. If he doesn’t participate, there’s a decent chance that the Germans could get knocked out in the group stage.
However, even IF Sule participates, there’s a decent chance that Germany could suffer another catastrophic international tournament, simply because Low has failed to address any of the glaring issues in the squad that failed in 2018. One of Germany’s best attackers in Thomas Muller won’t even get a call-up.
Meanwhile, the nature of Sule’s injury is a serious cause for concern. This is the second ACL tear of his career, and it must be managed VERY carefully in order to prevent problems future. If a player rushes the recovery timeline, it could lead high risk of another ACL tear or even more serious problems in the future, perhaps on the other knee. Risking one’s career for a tournament your team will probably lose doesn’t sound especially smart — even more so when you remember that Sule is only 24 years old and should have a long career at the top level ahead of him.
So, we put it to a vote. Should Sule go to the Euros?
Should Niklas Sule go to the Euros?
This poll is closed
Yes, Germany are done for without him.
No, he should take it slow focus on his recovery.