Davie Selke could be the saviour to Hertha BSC’s stuttering 2017/18 campaign, after the 22-year-old netted eight goals in 14 appearances in all competitions, since returning from injury in October.
Selke toyed between a series of youth academies across Germany, including VfB Stuttgart and 1899 Hoffenheim. He spent three years at Hoffenheim’s youth academy between 2009 and 2012 before transferring to Werder Bremen for a fee of just €50,000.
He spent the majority of his debut season playing in the reserves, who competed in the fourth tier Regionalliga Nord. The German striker netted nine goals in 26 appearances for the reserves and also accumulated three appearances overall for the senior team.
Numerous European clubs were interested in signing Selke, including Spanish giants Real Madrid. However, he opted to drop a division to join RB Leipzig, which angered sections of the Werder Bremen fan base.
His nine goals in 30 German Bundesliga appearances during the 2013/14 season helped Die Werderaner into tenth-place. However, Selke was continuously jeered by Werder supporters once his move to RB Leipzig was completed.
The 22-year-old has also enjoyed significant success with Germany at youth level. He won under-19 and under-21 European Championships in 2014 and 2017 respectively and also claimed a silver medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Selke’s career at RB Leipzig started swimmingly with ten goals in 32 appearances during his debut season, which concluded with the club earning promotion to the German Bundesliga. He was unable to cement a regular place in the starting line-up during his second year, due to the rise of a certain Timo Werner.
Selke joined the Berliners in July, following a two-year spell with fellow Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig. He scored ten goals in his first season for Die Bullen in the second tier, but found himself surplus to requirements in their Bundesliga debut due to the rise of a certain Timo Werner.
He secured a transfer to the German capital for a fee of €8 million and signed a five-year deal at the club. Selke also played a key role in Germany’s Under-21 European Championship triumph, by scoring twice, including the opening goal against England in the semi-finals.
The 22-year-old was set to head into the new campaign with renewed confidence but his morale boosting summer was set to drastically evaporate immediately. In July, Selke was ruled out of action for the first two months of the season due to a metatarsal injury.
The Delayed Beginning to David Selke’s Hertha BSC Career
On 14 October, Selke made his first competitive debut for the club from the bench during their 2-0 defeat against FC Schalke 04 at the Olympiastadion. Pal Dardai gradually welcomed him into the team by featuring him largely in the UEFA Europa League but opted for the more experienced Vedad Ibisevic in the German Bundesliga.
Dardai was unable to ignore Selke’s performances in the UEFA Europa League, which included three goals in both ties against Zorya Luhansk and another against Athletic Bilbao. He would start against Borussia Monchengladbach and FC Koln but partnered Ibisevic, who overshadowed him by scoring three goals in both fixtures.
Ibisevic was demoted to the bench for the remaining two games before the winter break, which gifted Selke with his opportunity to break onto the scene. He was unable to score during Hertha’s 3-1 win over Hannover 96 but would play a decisive role against his former club RB Leipzig on the final match before the winter break.
He increased tension before the encounter with his former club by vowing to celebrate if he scored. The under-21 international did so, scoring twice, in emphatic fashion to inspire them to a deserved 3-2 win at the Red Bull Arena.
Selke’s positional awareness helped him grab his brace, as he eluded his marker by shifting backwards, to manufacture the opportunity to lash a low unstoppable finish into the bottom corner.
He doubled Hertha’s lead six minutes into the second half by shrugging off his marker once again to divert a close-range volley into the far corner. He should’ve extended their lead to three just moments later but was denied by the woodwork.
RB Leipzig demonstrated their resilient attitude by clawing back two goals in the second half but they were ultimately undone by the scintillating Davie Selke. Dardai will now have a positive dilemma to digest, which will be whether to exclude Ibisevic from the starting line-up to feature Selke as his main man in the final third.