At his Friday presser, VfL Wolfsburg trainer Florian Kohfeldt addressed his non-usage of January acquisition Kevin Parades.
Last week might have accorded Kohfeldt an excellent opportunity to test-drive the young talent. With left-back Jerome Roussillon out sick, the Wolfsburg coaching staff could have at least given Parades some relief minutes after replacement Renato Steffen faltered against Augsburg.
Asked specifically about Paredes at his final pre-match presser this Friday, Kohfeldt elaborated on why the teenager hasn't been used yet. The VfL gaffer then hinted that Parades' time might be coming.
"Kevin is a player that will need half a year in order to adapt properly," Kohfeldt explained, "The progress is definitely there [in training], but one still has to seek out the right moment for young players; one in which the pressure isn't too great."
With Wolfsburg mired in a relegation battle, it is in a sense not surprising that Kohfeldt has kept Paredes behind Roussillon, Steffen, and Yannick Gerhardt on the depth chart. A bad mistake in a high-pressure situation could, In Kohfeldt's words, "endanger a player of whom we have high expectations of here at Wolfsburg."
The situation is, in fact, not unprecedented. US international Joe Scally arrived in Gladbach in January 2021. Then head-coach Marco Rose kept the young American on the practice squad for the entirely of the the rest of the season, not even calling him up to the bench once on a single matchday.
Kohfeldt nevertheless strongly suggested that Paredes would not follow a similar trajectory. The youngster should absolutely log some minutes before the season is out.
"There's definitely a ten or twenty minute shift in there," the coach noted.