Bayern Munich: Leon Goretzka looks to make his stand for Germany

KLAGENFURT, AUSTRIA - JUNE 02: Leon Goretzka of Germany in action during the international friendly match between Austria and Germany at Woerthersee Stadion on June 2, 2018 in Klagenfurt, Austria. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
KLAGENFURT, AUSTRIA - JUNE 02: Leon Goretzka of Germany in action during the international friendly match between Austria and Germany at Woerthersee Stadion on June 2, 2018 in Klagenfurt, Austria. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

Future Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka has proven in recent seasons that he is a promising German prospect. He’ll look to take the next step and prove his worth with Germany at this summer’s World Cup.

Since 2013, youngster Leon Goretzka has been gradually building up his talents and becoming one of Schalke’s most integral players. All those years of hard work now seem to have paid off. Goretzka has attracted the attention of one of Europe’s most prominent clubs in Bayern Munich — whom he’ll join this summer on a free transfer — and Joachim Low on the international stage.

However, with the World Cup inching closer and closer to its beginning, Goretzka’s attention drawn with the senior German national team is most important. The youngster who first started in VfL Bochum made big waves last summer. This is, of course, during Joachim Low and Co.’s successful conquest of Russia for the FIFA Confederations Cup.

Leon Goretzka made several notable starts, including in the gritty final against Chile in Germany’s 1-0 victory. In doing so, the German developed an impressive highlight reel, scoring important goals and showing dynamism in his play.

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Leon Goretzka’s most contributing talents

The young German international has a number of talents in terms of his contribution in play to midfield. Leon Goretzka adds a burst of energy to the middle of the pitch. This allows him the ability to cover the field end-to-end if need be. It is in a role such as this where Goretzka shines the most.

To nail down a specific role in which the midfield engine thrives the most, it could be as a box-to-box central midfielder. This gives him the freedom and responsibility to make driving runs up the field contributing to attacking play, while tracking back in defense whenever necessary. This is how Goretzka mostly displayed his talents with the German national team in last summer’s Confederations Cup.

He shows this hunger going forward, scoring three important goals in during 2017’s tournament. For both Bayern Munich and Germany, having an extra offensive force in the opposition penalty box can prove to be a valuable asset. This is made evident as Goretzka seems to favor passing and build-up play when driving forward. Some of his most effective passing comes in the final third.

The next important thing to cover is his transitioning to defense. As a box-to-box central-midfielder, the most crucial aspect of his play is how well he transitions from one end of the pitch to the other. Goretzka handles this well. Once Germany has to make a quick shift to defense, he drives back with tenacity. This adds a layer of security to the back line when dealing with counter-attacks. Since Germany handles their game best in possession, counters are going to be a prime concern.

Who would Leon Goretzka best pair with for Germany?

While Leon Goretzka is a talented young player, it is undeniable that he faces stiff competition for a spot in the German midfield, particularly in the deeper midfield areas.

In attacking midfield — a position Goretzka could also do well to fill in — is Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil. With his level of creativity and crisp passing rates, he’s likely to hold down the number 10 spot. If necessary, however, Leon Goretzka could just as well be a solid depth piece to central-attacking-midfield. His energetic drive to build-up play and hunger for goal can prove useful.

Assuming Joachim Low sticks to the favored 4-2-3-1 formation, there’s two options left in the middle of the park. These two positions are in defensive-midfield. Both Toni Kroos of Real Madrid and Sami Khedira of Juventus are likely to fill these roles. Meanwhile, there is still Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City waiting as well.

Leon Goretzka could best form a strong partnership with Kroos in defensive-midfield, or having Goretzka pushed farther up-field in his favored box-to-box role. Either way, Goretzka will be given a variable degree of freedom in driving forward while also being the more physical and tenacious enforcer shielding the defense. This allows Toni Kroos more breathing room to be the controlling tempo of the game.


Leon Goretzka is an immense young talent to watch for Germany in the World Cup. He clearly possesses valuable traits that Joachim Low sees and will find attractive for the squad. His versatility and tenacity in running at both ends of the pitch allow Germany an extra midfield engine to rely on.

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However, given the competition ahead of him, he may be used more as a depth piece, but clearly a valuable one. If used correctly, he could form a strong relationship on the pitch with several of Germany’s top central-midfielders — of which, a partnership with Toni Kroos may be the most complementary.