Bayern Munich, after a long bout of rumors, finally secured the signature of a young and talented German international. Leon Goretzka has agreed an initial deal to join the Bavarian giants in summer of 2018. However, with a packed midfield, how would Goretzka fit into the starting eleven?
Leon Goretzka has clearly caught the eye in the scouting departments of numerous clubs across Europe since his previous season at Schalke. The young German has shown tremendous talent in developing his skills at the Gelsenkirchen-based club. He truly showcased his talent on the word stage during Germany’s triumph at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. He displayed his energetic drive in the centre of the park and hunger to drive towards goal during an overwhelmingly successful tournament.
Yet, midfield positions aren’t – nor have they recently been – an area for improvement at Bayern Munich. The Barvarians have an abundance of options in central midfield with the likes of Thiago, Vidal, Rodriguez, Muller and Martinez all capable of playing central roles in the second third of the field.
Sebastien Rudy and Corentin Tolisso will also be competing for starting places, which leads to the question – how will Goretzka fit into the system, line-up and plans at Bayern Munich on his arrival?
Leon Goretzka’s Strengths
Since his most recent surge in form – and market value – Leon Goretzka has clearly demonstrated where his most valuable assets lie. The youngster has a powerful engine and drive that sees him blossom as an energetic box-to-box central-midfielder. He shows that he’s capable of providing an energetic drive that allows him to push the attacking play forward, and he’s also tenacious off the ball when defending in order to win back possession.
Goretzka has proven no stranger from free-kick situations or taking shots on goal during the run of play. With all of this bundled into one young package, it’s no wonder the likes of Barcelona were also hunting for his signature. These skill-sets provide a major boost of energy and additional bite to any classy midfield.
Goretzka would potentially have one major competitor in this field: Arturo Vidal. The Chilean is notorious for his ferocity and drive up and down the pitch at all the clubs he’s played for, and most notably Juventus. Its been recently confirmed that he’ll be staying the rest of the season, but his future beyond the summer remains unclear.
However, should he stay, Goretzka could look to become the new younger model of Vidal. He possesses a similar skill set, and most importantly he’s able to show a more disciplined and measured aggressiveness in defence as opposed to Vidal’s famous bouts of rashness that make him a card magnet at times.
Could He Be Paired in Double-Pivot Midfield?
Goretzka can be deployed in a midfield pivot, which Bayern can comfortably execute due to the quality of personnel at their disposal. Due to his work ethic and energy, he’ll flourish when paired with someone who can provide a more defensive barrier. Javi Martinez has the defensive capabilities to break up play, which will award Goretzka with the freedom of bursting from deep positions, similar to the role Paul Pogba now plays at Manchester United following Nemanja Matic’s arrival from Chelsea last summer.
Fortunately, Goretzka is flexible and versatile, which means he should have very little issues adapting to any role he’s handed at Bayern Munich. He possesses both the defensive and offensive attributes to probe a threat in any position he’s deployed and his work ethic will also help the more attacking players such as James Rodriguez and Corentin Tolisso to flourish due to a reduction in defensive work.
He could easily go onto become a long-term replacement for Arturo Vidal, who’s future beyond the end of the season is currently uncertain. Renato Sanches, who is currently on-loan at Swansea City in the Premier League, is also unlikely to break back into the main squad, let alone the starting line-up. The future looks bright for Leon Goretzka, and he has the ability to take the opportunity by the scruff of the neck and continue his rapid progress in the professional game.