While Bayern Munich loanee Gabriel Vidović was in Croatia for the international break as part of the U-21 squad, t-online held an interview with the 19-year-old. Among other topics, Vidović, on loan at Vitesse Arnhem in the Eredivisie since the 30th of August, spoke about wanting to be an important player for Bayern, his goals as an international and how things are going with Vitesse.
So far, it is easy to look at the loan critically. Vidović has played 21 of 22 possible games for Vitesse, but he has not played a full 90 minutes once yet, has been relegated to the bench in the past few games, has been shunted out from his usual position in the center to the left and has three goals and no assists in those 21 appearances, a far cry from the 21 goals and 10 assists he racked up in 30 games in the Regionalliga, even if the obvious step up in quality needs to be acknowledged. But Vidović prefers a different outlook on things. “It’s been positive. I’ve only missed one game, due to illness, have scored a few goals and have had a lot of good moments in these matches.” When pressed further about whether this is the right move for him, Vitesse’s No. 10 had this to say: “Definitely. When you decide to make this kind of step, you cannot allow yourself to doubt, you need to be convinced.”
Regular game time, after all, was Vidović’s priority when looking to leave Bayern, as he explained when pressed as to why the move was right. “For me, the game time is the most important. The bosses at Vitesse showed belief in me from the very first second and maintained that they would rely on me. That did not change after the coaching change [from Thomas Letsch to Phillip Cocu in September]. Vitesse Arnhem played an important role in the development of players such as Martin Ødegaard and Mason Mount, which helped my decision.”
And what is his favorite position? “I like to play in the center [as an attacking midfield], but I can play out wide and as an 8.” That is a position that is unfortunately very well stocked at Bayern Munich. So how could he possibly fit in? His answer is to concentrate on himself, not others. “I try to focus on myself, to improve myself in as many ways as possible as much as I can and work hard to do so.” It’s a mature response, but the interviewer asks if it’s really so easy to disregard the competition.
“Of course you need to show respect, but you also need to make sure you are recommending yourself to be played whenever possible. You just need to block out that you’re training with the best players in the world.”
Among the best players in the world he mentioned are the likes of Joshua Kimmich and Jamal Musiala, who he sees as role models. “Kimmich gives 110% every day, that’s why he’s one of the best players in his position. With Musiala, he shows you that it’s possible to make it at Bayern as a youth player. But if you work with Bayern’s first team, you can learn something from everyone.”
So what are his plans for the future? Vidović gives a fairly standard response, saying that he wants to find the optimal solution together with Bayern, but when pressed on it, he says this: “Of course it would be amazing, if [my future] were to be with Bayern. The most important thing is to get regular game time.” He draws confidence in becoming a key player for Bayern from examples like Serge Gnabry. “Serge [was loaned out just like me] and is now a top player at Bayern.”
Vidović also touched on comparisons with Luka Modrić: “Luka Modrić is Luka Modrić. I am Gabriel Vidović. Naturally [he is a role model for me.] But I don’t like such comparisons. But I would like to make it to where he did, including the [Croatian] national team setup.”
But Vidović is also eligible to play for Germany. Have the DFB made an attempt to persuade him to declare for Germany? “The DFB have contacted my agent. But I am with the U-21 Croatia team right now and I feel good. I am not one to concentrate too heavily on the future, I concentrate on the here and now.”