Leon Goretzka – ready for the next step?
By Rune Gjerulff @runegjerulff
It only seems to be a question of time before Leon Goretzka's move from Schalke 04 to Bayern München will be announced. Learn more about the Schalke star here.
|Schalke's Leon Goretzka (to the right).|
Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel has said that the club wants to keep Goretzka, and that that the decision is up to the 22-year-old midfielder who can leave on a free transfer when his contract expires this summer. It’s in his own hands.
"He is a bright, intelligent boy. He knows exactly what is best for himself," Bayern München coach Jupp Heynckes recently said of Goretzka at a press conference.
Peter Neururer coached Goretzka a few months at VfL Bochum, where the Schalke star spent his early career, and he is confident his former player will make the right decision. Because that’s what he has always done.
"Since he was at an early age, he has been a mature player who has said the right things at the right times. He has the right mindset, and at the same time he isn't without spontaneity, but he doesn't involve himself with nonsense. He knows where he is from, and what the environment means for him. He is intelligent and cultivated. He is one of the most positive figures that I've gotten to know in German football during the last 30 years," Neururer told tz.de.
"For me, Leon is one of he biggest German midfield talents – if not the biggest. And he is still far from in the end stage of his development,” he added.
Goretzka made his way up through the youth ranks of VfL Bochum as well as the German youth national teams. After impressing highly for Bochum's under-19 side and the German under-17 national team, he was awarded the under-17 Fritz Walter Medal in gold and thereby named the biggest talent of his age group by the German Football Association.
The midfielder made his breakthrough in Bochum's first-team in the 2012/13 season and was sold to Schalke 04 in June 2013. Since then, he has evolved into a key figure in the heart of the Schalke midfield and has become a regular for the German national team. And it’s not hard to understand why.
At just 22 years old, Goretzka is already a very complete midfielder, and although there are still room for improvement, he has very few weaknesses. He’s versatile, technically good, fairly quick, has a powerful and precise shot and certainly knows how to pick a pass. At the same time, he is willing to defend and throw himself into physical battles, and with his 188 centimeters, he is a physical presence who’s good in the air.
Goretzka certainly has the qualities and mentality to be a hit at Bayern – and to go far as a footballer. Now, it’s up to the thoughtful young midfielder to decide if he’s ready to take the next step.