As the Bundestrainer, Hansi Flick has been actively collaborating with club coaches to keep track of the progress of Germany national team players. Per Bild, Flick has arranged a meeting with his old boss Niko Kovać to check on Lukas Nmecha’s development.
Kovać, the former Bayern Munich and newly-appointed Vfl Wolfsburg coach, believes Nmecha needs to work on improving his performance and fitness to seal a place in Germany’s 2022 World Cup squad.
“Hansi wants to be successful and take the best players with him,” Kovać said. “If Lukas wants to be there, he will have to give everything. And he will.”
After the Nations League fixtures in June, the 23-year-old underwent a surgery on his right ankle and had screws removed from a previous operation. He has now returned to partial team training with Wolfsburg.
“First of all, he has to get the necessary fitness,” Kovać cautioned. “If you don’t have that, you can’t give 100 percent. If the others are further along in terms of physique, then you also have to accept that. But I’m assuming that we’ll manage that over the next few weeks.”
Nmecha may not start over Chelsea’s Timo Werner or Kai Havertz at the Qatar World Cup but the Manchester City academy product plays an important role in Flick’s plans. While Jonathan Burkardt and Simon Terodde are said to be on DFB’s radar, the national team coach has made it clear that he prefers Nmecha as Germany’s ‘true’ striker due to his overall profile being well-suited to the national team setup (via Bild).
Flick, meanwhile, congratulated Wolfsburg on appointing Kovać as head coach and had kind words for his former boss.
“Wolfsburg have signed an excellent coach and a fine individual. I can only congratulate those responsible,” Flick told WAZ (via ZEIT). “We had and have a very respectful relationship, characterized by mutual appreciation. You can rely on him. When he promises something, he keeps it.”