Leon Goretzka wants to stay at Bayern Munich despite a handful of clubs expressing interest in signing him during this summer’s transfer window. Liverpool, Manchester united, and West Ham United have all inquired about potentially signing the midfielder, but the German international has remained determined in his stance that he wants to stay with the Rekordmeister.
Thomas Tuchel has shown a preference in preseason to using Joshua Kimmich and new signing Konrad Laimer as the main pivot in midfield, leaving Goretzka as the odd man out as Tuchel already has a plethora of attacking midfielders. It’s not to say that Goretzka will permanently be out of Tuchel’s starting lineup plans, but the manager has a clear idea of what he wants the midfield to look like.
By all accounts, Goretzka wasn’t the only player in Bayern’s squad that underperformed last season, as the collective performances were not good enough. They had Borussia Dortmund a lot to thank for with regards to just barely claiming their eleventh straight Bundesliga title and falling short in both the DFB-Pokal and Champions League.
Former Bayern and Germany midfielder Lothar Matthäus doesn’t exactly agree with the sentiment that Goretzka could’ve been one of the Bayern players for sale this summer. He feels that the midfielder might not have been utilized in his best position under either Tuchel or Julian Nagelsmann last season. “Leon Goretzka said last week that he wants to stay at Bayern. For me there would never have been a discussion about him. He was a key player in the club’s biggest successes but he needs to be used in his position,” Matthäus explained in a recent column for Sky Sports Germany (via @iMiaSanMia).
Positionally for Goretzka, there wasn’t a lot of stability last season. He shared a mixture of lining up alongside Kimmich or Marcel Sabitzer in the center of midfield and the players deployed in front of him often changed, too; whether it was Jamal Musiala, Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry, Sadio Mane, Kingsley Coman, Mathys Tel, or Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. There were also tactical changes between Nagelsmann and Tuchel with switches between a 4-2-3-1, 4-1-4-1, or even a 3-4-2-1. Tuchel has made it clear that he doesn’t prefer Kimmich playing the No. 6 role, so it’s hard to find a balance in midfield that compliments Goretzka as he’s not naturally a No. 6, either.
“Goretzka played very well in his position at Bayern for a long time. A lot of things haven’t been right at Bayern in recent years, and that’s also why we haven’t seen what we saw before from Goretzka. It’s important he gets the chance to bring his qualities to the pitch,” Matthäus added.
Even with Laimer now in the mix, the former Bayern and Germany midfielder feels there’s certainly still a place at the club for Goretzka and that he deserves his proper chances with Tuchel.