Julian Nagelsmann announced his team roster for Germany’s upcoming games against the USA and Mexico, and it definitely included some surprise nominations. The ex-Bayern Munich coach listed Union Berlin’s Kevin Behrens as one of his forwards, earning the latter his first-ever senior team call-up.
When asked about why, Nagelsmann said that he wanted a striker who’s good in the air: attested by Behrens’ hat-trick of headers against Mainz 05 on Bundesliga opening day. Nagelsmann added that he’s interested to see how Behrens performs in training, lauding him as someone who always wants to win and even puts in the defensive work.
“We wanted another striker who’s strong in the air so that we could react to different scenarios. We’ll see how he performs in training. He is a very good guy who always wants to win and also does a lot of work defensively,” Nagelsmann said (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “He makes very, very good runs, but is also good in the air when we face opponents who defend deep and we still need a goal at the end. He is very present in the box and binds a lot of opponents - which means his teammates can also score goals, not just himself.”
Behrens did in fact put up an amazing performance even defensively against FC Heidenheim — winning 17 duels (the most of any other player on the pitch) and has thus far performed well in a seemingly lackluster Union Berlin side,
Hopefully, he will be able to recreate some of his magic like he did against Mainz for a Germany team that desperately needs goals.