By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Jakobs speaks on allegiance switch and life under Kovac at Monaco

Former 1. FC Köln midfielder and German youth international Ismail Jakobs sat down with German journalist Michael Postl for an interview appearing in the Monday print edition of German footballing magazine Kicker.

Among other things, the 23-year-old spoke on his decision to switch national allegiances to Senegal and what it was like to work under current VfL Wolfsburg trainer Niko Kovac.
In the 15 months since Ismail Jakobs left Germany, the Köln native has also opted got represent the land of his father. After winning the 2021 UEFA U21 European Championship under trainer Stefan Kuntz, Jakobs declined to represent Germany during the summer Olympics three months later so that he could focus on his club switch. The Lions of Teranga came knocking soon thereafter and the youngster chose to serve Senegal.

"Choosing Senegal what a matter of the heart," Jakobs told Michael Postl of German footballing magazine Kicker in an interview for the Monday print edition, "The national team holds enormous importance. You get a lot of love from people. The entire country supports you and you and you can see that in the stands."

Jakobs made his debut for the Aliou Cissé's Lions in September. Whether or not he will be selected for the World Cup remains to be seen as he is fighting for playing time at Monaco. The former German youth international expressed his hope of on day playing in front of a full stadium in Dakar. He also divulged that squad keeper Sami Ndjeng (half Swiss) had been helping him acclimate as a native German speaker.

Under current coach, Philippe Clement, however, Jakobs is effectively third in the depth chart at his position. Jakobs insisted that he didn't regret the move and planned to stay. Asked about whether he preferred the previous coaching regime of Germany's Niko Kovac, the 22-year-old called the current Wolfsburg trainer "a good and honest man".

"Some had their problems with his German abrasiveness," Jakobs noted when discussing Kovac's sacking during t the last winter break, "the strident and loud tone. In addition, Champions' League qualification was in jeopardy and things sometimes move quickly when that happens."

Jakobs may be in a foreign land and donning the colors of a different country, but he still has plenty of German-speaking teammates on his current team. Germans Kevin Volland and Alexander Nübel share the locker room with him, as does Swiss international Breel Embolo. Jakobs had high praise for the abilities of the trio, singling out Nübel as indispensable to the team.

"He [Nübel] is doing an outstanding job," Jakobs noted, "He very secure, never lets the balls bounce, always holds them. It would be nice if he stayed.

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