A pending transfer to Bayer 04 Leverkusen notwithstanding, SV Werder Bremen trainer Florian Kohfeldt says that there is a "realistic chance" he will use winger Milot Rahsica against SC Freiburg on Saturday.
The failure to replace late departed midfielder Davy Klaassen looms large over beleaguered Bremen as the club prepares to face three months of fixtures without one of their crucial regular starters. Head coach Florian Kohfeldt nevertheless sought to accentuate the positives within his team during a Thursday press conference.
Kohfeldt announced that he had selected Czech defender Theodor Gebre Selassie to inherit Klaassen's vice-captaincy. "He's been with Werder many years and has become a face of the club," Kohfeldt noted. The 33-year-old Selassie has played for the Hanseaten since 2012.
In another move heavy with symbolism, Kohfeldt appointed midfielder Maximilian Eggestein the team's third alternate captain. Eggestein will find himself under enormous pressure now that his partner Klaassen has left. "Max is willing to take on a little bit more responsibility," the coach reported.
Kohfeldt took advantage of his time in front of the cameras to laud young prospect Jean Manuel Mbom for his strong debut with the club. The trainer also sprinkled in some more hopeful news by noting that Ömer Toprak would be fit enough to play as a substitute on Saturday and said long-injured midfielder Kevin Möhwald could see some action as well.
As for his disaffected winger, Kohfeldt declared the club's strategy of giving Rashica some time off after the transfer chaos had worked. "The days off did him good," the trainer noted, "He has made a very good impression [in his return], especially on the mental side of things. I definitely trust him."
Kohfeldt went so far as to say that he might even insert Rashica into the starting XI for a 45-minute assignment, though he did conceded that this "wasn't very likely".
In any event, the 38-year-old did categorize Rashica's chances of being used as quite favorable. "He has a realistic chance of being deployed for 30 or 45 minutes," Kohfeldt revealed, "He will not come to Freiburg merely to be part of the bench squad."