It was a satisfying resumption to the Bundesliga for Bayern Munich as they clinched a crucial 1-0 win away at FC Koln on Friday. Even though they didn’t win by a bigger margin, it was a convincing display from Die Roten as they allowed only one shot on target for the home side.
Bayern controlled the tempo of the game for the majority of 90 minutes. Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka played a crucial role in helping Die Roten to extend their unbeaten run to 12 games in the Bundesliga. Goretzka was one of the top performers for Rekordmeister on Friday, as he contributed at both ends of the pitch.
The German international has steadily improved his performances this season after an underwhelming last campaign. Thomas Tuchel had publicly criticized Goretzka last season, but he took the criticism on the chin and worked hard to reclaim a spot in the starting XI.
Goretzka has made the most of the chances he got this season and cemented a place in the Tuchel’s preferred lineup. After the win against FC Koln, Bayern’s sporting director Christoph Freund heaped praise on the German midfielder while talking to Kicker. Freund believes that Goretzka has a strong mentality and can contribute across the pitch at a very high level.
"“Leon is an absolute top player, which he has consistently proven at the highest level over many years. In the past few weeks, he has shown strong performances in various positions, playing with a broken hand – that shows his great mentality. Leon is a leader who always leads the way on the pitch and takes responsibility even in difficult situations.”"
Freund also praised Goretzka for filling in the central defense at times this season. The Bavarian club currently has only three center-back options. At various points in the last three months, Die Roten had injuries in central defense, which prompted Tuchel to use Leon Goretzka in the heart of defense.
Leon Goretzka was facing an uncertain future at Bayern during the summer transfer window. Die Roten were reportedly open to listening offers for him amidst interest from West Ham United and Manchester United. The German international eventually decided to stay in Munich and fight for a place in the team.
Goretzka is calm about his long-term future at Bayern. The German international is open to spending the peak of his career in Munich but doesn’t rule out a move to another club in the future. Bayern don’t have to worry about Goretzka’s contract, as the current deal is set to expire in 2026.
Want your voice heard? Join the Bayern Strikes team!
Despite the outstanding form of Goretzka and Kimmich, Bayern should look to strengthen the midfield in January. They failed to sign a replacement for Ryan Gravenberch in the summer transfer window. Tuchel will look to get a defensive midfielder in January, which will provide more balance to the team.