Thomas Muller will be missing out for Germany’s final Euro 2020 group stage match against Hungary through a knee injury, but Bayern Munich teammate Leon Goretzka has said that he’s ready to step in and fill in the “Muller role.”
Muller sustained his knee injury in the second half of Germany’s impressive 4-2 win over Portugal last weekend at the Allianz Arena, and his absence against Hungary will certainly be a bit of a blow for Joachim Low, but he has other options, including Goretzka.
When Goretzka came on in the 73rd minute for Kai Havertz against Portugal, he adopted a more advanced role in the attacking third, which is something he said he’s ready to do again (Bundesliga), much like the role Muller plays for Bayern and Die Mannschaft. “I’ve got it in me to play the Thomas Müller role. In many ways, his position for the national time is similar to mine. It’s a position I’ve played in before for the national team, and I’m ready to help the team. The tournament can really begin for me now,” Goretzka explained.
If Low decides to stick with three at the back and Joshua Kimmich and Robin Gosens as the wing backs, it’s likely that Goretzka would start in an advanced attacking role, much like Muller has, either on the left, right, or centrally. If Low decides to swtich to a back four, we could see Goretzka play a slightly advanced, box-to-box role in the center of midfield alongside Toni Kroos and Ilkay Gundogan.
Regardless of the starting lineup against Hungary, Goretzka knows that their opponents are no slouches, as they showed in the 1-1 draw with France in Budapest last weekend. “We have the toughest group by far, and that includes Hungary too, of course. You have to break down their defensive wall. We’re highly motivated and will find the right solutions. Our only goal is to win,” Goretzka said.
Joachim Low shared Goretzka’s sentiment in knowing that the Hungarians will be a difficult defense to break down in his pre-match press conference:
️ Joachim #Löw: "Hungary can leave you scratching your head with their unbelievable defensive work. There might not be as many opportunities in front of goal. We need to take the chances we get." #GERHUN #EURO2020 #GER #DieMannschaft pic.twitter.com/lhRWyn2egJ— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) June 22, 2021