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Mr. Irreplaceable: Julian Nagelsmann can’t picture Germany without İlkay Gündoğan

Things have taken a turn in Germany’s midfield

Germany v Turkey - International Friendly Photo by Stefan Matzke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

According to a report from Sport1 journalist Kerry Hau (as captured by @iMiaSanMia), former Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann is enamored with the play of FC Barcelona star İlkay Gündoğan in the German national team’s central midfield.

In fact, Gündoğan sits along atop the squad’s depth chart per Hau:

Even though he doesn’t want to give guarantees, Julian Nagelsmann sees no way around Ilkay Gündogan in the starting lineup. The new captain is considered a ‘tactical mastermind’ on the pitch and is also very popular off the pitch within the team.

Therefore, Joshua Kimmich is under pressure and has to fight with Leon Goretzka and Pascal Groß for the second midfield spot. At the moment, playing Kimmich right-back is not an option for Nagelsmann.

It was not long ago that Gündoğan was contemplating retirement from international football. Now, though, it is hard to discern what this particular situation says more about:

  • Gündoğan’s individual brilliance.
  • The shoddy play of the rest of the midfielders.
  • Germany’s overall lack of fresh talent.
  • The out-of-sync tactics put in place by the three most recent coaches.

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