For quite some time now, the German national team has lacked a true, genuine number 9 striker. Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Serge Gnabry, and Thomas Muller have all been used as false 9’s or makeshift strikers in the recent past, but the days of Miroslav Klose, Mario Gomez, and Lukas Podolski are long gone. After Die Mannschaft’s 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Romania, Hansi Flick refused to accept the idea that Germany lacked a true center forward and questioned what the modern definition would even consist of. He’s not worried about such labels in his squad. However, Lothar Matthäus feels a little bit differently, and thinks that Flick should possibly consider bringing in Schalke 04’s Simon Terodde.
After the win over Romania, Matthäus commented on the fan-made banner he had seen inside the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg that called for Germany to give Terodde a run in the national team. “During the Romania game in Hamburg I saw a poster on which fans demanded Simone Terodde. The idea should be given a chance,” he said (Sport Bild).
Terodde, at 33 years of age, has made quite a name for himself in the 2. Bundesliga, though he has had stints in the top flight. So far this season, he’s already found the back of the net 11 times from nine appearances for Schalke, and he recently set a record for the 2. Liga, scoring his 153rd goal in only 262 matches. He has an incredibly strong aerial presence, standing tall at 6 feet 3 inches and has a nose for goal similar to Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, according to Matthäus.
“When he is fed, he scores just like Lewandowski backup Choupo-Moting at Bayern. We just don’t have puscas like even Romania. Terodde is therefore a serious option for me. You just need a type of player like him,” Matthäus said of the Schalke front man. Players like Werner, Havertz, Muller, and Gnabry have a much different, while still effective, presence in front of goal and Germany has lacked a true number 9 since even before the 2018 World Cup failure in Russia. There’s the running joke that all of Germany’s problems would be solved if Lewandowski gained German citizenship, but it’s a running theme in the Bundesliga that the majority of the current strikers are from abroad.
Within the Bundesliga pool, Flick isn’t spoiled for choice at all in the striker department. “A nomination of Terrode for the national team would be a head-butt for the first division striker. But from Germany we only have one [Nils] Petersen in Freiburg and one [Davie] Selke at Hertha [Berlin] — then it’s over. Terrode plays regularly, scores his goals. And with Jonas Hector there was already another national player who played in the second division and in the national team,” Matthäus explained. The 2. Liga label shouldn’t be seen as a negative connotation at all in terms of national team selection.