As someone who has been a huge honk of Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka over the years (dating back to his Schalke 04 days and — you guessed it — the 2017 Confederations Cup team aka Germany’s last good team), this is a painful take to have.
So, let’s just have at it...this is why I think Goretzka’s days are numbered:
Joshua Kimmich’s unsaid desire to become a No. 8
If you have noticed Kimmich’s play of late, you see him wanting to play in an advanced role more and more. The balance between the midfield pairing was there when Kimmich played a more conservative style, but now — too often — both midfielders venture too far up-field leaving a sometimes shaky backline exposed. I just feel like Kimmich wants to shift into playing the No. 8, which puts him in direct competition with Goretzka.
The arrival of Konrad Laimer
The latest reports say that Bayern Munich will use Laimer as a No. 6 (naturally), a No. 8 (hmmm...maybe?), and as a back-up right-back (maybe in a “break glass in case of emergency” situation), but in (allegedly at this stage) inking the ball-winner, it is clear that Laimer’s skillset is best suited to play the No. 6 — with the newly offensive-minded Kimmich playing as No. 8.
This no longer feels like an acquisition for depth, it feels like Nagelsmann wants and/or needs a true defensive midfielder to make his plans work, which would probably make Goretzka the odd man out.
Of course, the boss could shift to a 4-3-3 and use all three, but that would open up another can of worms give the team’s ample roster of attackers.
Something weird is going on
Earlier this season, Julian Nagelsmann played Marcel Sabitzer over Goretzka (granted, Goretzka was coming back from an injury) and during the World Cup, Hansi Flick opted to play İlkay Gündoğan over Goretzka.
Has his form dropped off that much? Is his attitude bad? Are people getting turned off by his commitment to social issues and how he brings them to the forefront so often?
It is hard to say, but something is most assuredly up with Goretzka and how he is being used by his coaches.
The Goretzka-Kimmich double-pivot still has enormous potential and already had a good track record, but it does seem at least a little sketchy that it will be together much longer. The feeling here is that if Goretzka gets relegated to a back-up role, he won’t accept it, and will move on.
This series will compile some takes we had that were bad or that we currently have, which might — or might not — be bad. To check them all out, see the stream below: