The reports are increasing that Leon Goretzka is on the sales list at Bayern Munich. Even if the national player wants to fight his way through, he should consider possible change options. But what kind of team could Goretzka lead at all?
It seems Leon Goretzka’s best days at Bayern Munich are now over. The 28-year-old midfielder could leave the record champions this summer with a suitable offer, because head coach Thomas Tuchel is said to be not completely convinced of Goretzka’s qualities. In addition, Konrad Laimer, a similar type of player who, like Goretzka, can fill a box-to-box role, has just been signed.
Goretzka, on the other hand, was only rarely able to impress with his performances in the past season. During the European Championship 2021 he still looked like the future in the German and thus probably also in the FC Bayern midfield, the duo consisting of Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich on the field inseparable. However, while Kimmich can maintain his status at Bayern for the time being despite recent criticism, Goretzka seems replaceable.
In particular, his consistency in passing has left a lot to be desired. It was not uncommon for Goretzka to act as an element of uncertainty in Bayern’s midfield. His agility had decreased – probably due to the temporary muscle build-up – and he was primarily able to pass security passes. In the past calendar year, his pass rate was just 83 percent – a mediocre value compared to all central midfielders in the top 5 leagues in Europe.
Dribbling and offensive one-on-one situations were also less and less part of the Bochum native’s game, who just a year or two before was often pushing forwards and gaining space. Incidentally, Laimer has an even worse pass rate than Goretzka, but he heard it loud FBref.com with almost three “progressive carries” per 90 minutes in the top ten percent of midfield players.
Leon Goretzka: Brighton instead of Manchester?
For him personally, Goretzka’s mixed performances have enormously reduced the market for potential customers. A change, for example, to a club like Manchester United, about whose interest the sports picture reported would probably mean for Goretzka that he would primarily be a supplementary and role player. Whether he would be satisfied with that seems extremely questionable, because the 28-year-old sees himself as a leader.
In this respect, a change to a team that is not as strong would have to be considered, in which Goretzka could work out a regular place. Take Brighton & Hove Albion, for example, from the Premier League: under head coach Roberto De Zerbi, the south of England play a progressive style with possession and well-considered passing. Goretzka should improve again in terms of passing rate, but with the right preparation he could play as expansively as before and fit in well with De Zerbi’s game concept.
Another example would be Sevilla FC, who have had a mediocre season despite another European title. Financially, things are not looking good for the Andalusians, which is why de facto all players are offered on the transfer market. Head coach José Luis Mendilibar’s midfield is anything but top-notch. Thomas Delaney couldn’t assert himself, Ivan Rakitić won’t be playing at the top level for much longer and the two sixes Fernando and Nemanja Gudelj are slowly becoming the older iron.
Purely in terms of playing style, Sevilla could be a better match for Goretzka. Because the team does not have a significant ball possession dominance, especially in La Liga, but plays quite aggressively forward on the ball. Goretzka could play a driving role in the offensive game with his advancing style – for example behind Óliver Torres – and act as a second six after losing the ball.
The financial factor remains problematic and that actually applies to all “midfield teams” in which Goretzka could function tactically. He actually wants to fight his way through at FC Bayern, but should he realize during the pre-season or in the first few weeks of the season that he has no future as a regular player under Tuchel, such change scenarios could become interesting again.
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July 15 – 20, 2023
Training camp at Tegernsee
July 24 – August 3, 2023
“Audi Summer Tour” in Japan and Singapore
July 26, 2023
Friendly match against Manchester City in Tokyo, Japan
July 29, 2023
Test match against Kawasaki Frontale in Tokyo, Japan