Five players who could replace Marco Reus

Marco Reus has been ruled out of the World Cup after catching an injury in the last friendly ahead of the World Cup. Now that Jogi Löw has to replace one of his key players, he has many options at hand who could fill in for Reus. But who should he pick and what considerations play into the final decision? As things stand, there are five players who could potentially start on the left wing for Germany, so who is Löw most likely going to pick?

Lukas Podolski

The 29-year-old Arsenal player has always been amongst Löw’s favourites and has been given a decent amount of playing time ever since he joined the national team back in 2004, much to the annoyance of many German football fans. Podolski has been involved in 5 of the last 7 German goals and has seemingly overcome the slump of form in the national team ever since the World Cup in 2010. Furthermore, Poldi has been playing with Mesut Özil had Arsenal for one season now, which undoubtedly should have a positive impact on the understanding on the pitch between these two players.

Chances of replacing Reus: 45%

André Schürrle

The former Leverkusen and Mainz player has stated in the past that the left wing is his preferred position. However, Löw might have different plans in store for the midfielder. Schürrle has done well on the right wing for Chelsea this season, a position where Löw sees him playing. As things stand, Schürrle is likely to start the tournament as Thomas Müller’s back up. However, things change quickly in the world of football and if Podolski is out form, injured or banned, Löw might consider playing the 23-year-old in his favourite position. Right now it seems likely that either Schürrle or Podolski are going to start in the left wing position, with most of the German press thinking that Podolski might get the nod ahead of Schürrle.

Chances of replacing Reus: 40%

Julian Draxler

The Schalke youngster did have a slump in form during the Rückrunde, making his inclusion in the national team somewhat surprising. However, form and injury worries do not seem to concern Löw as long as he regards Draxler to be an important piece of his puzzle. The national team coach showed how highly he rates Draxler when he chose to make him the youngest captain in the DFB’s history in the match against Poland. Draxler usually plays on the left wing for his club side, but he is likely to be featured on the bench given Podolski’s form of late.

Chances of replacing Reus: 20%

Mario Götze

Jogi Löw has had the luxury problem of having to find a place for the midfield Wunderkind in his starting line up. Despite the quality Götze brings to the table he’s often times not been used in the midfield due to the competition coming from the likes of Mesut Özil, Thomas Müller, Marco Reus and André Schürrle. However, the injury to his former teammate might provide Löw with the chance to play Götze in his position. During the 2013/14 campaign, the 21-year-old featured was fielded as a left winger a total of 6 times, scoring 4 goals and creating 2 assists in the process. However, Löw has experimented with a false 9 system before and we could see Götze filling that role, or he could step in for Özil when needed. As things stand Götze seems to be more likely to get playing time in a more central role.

Chances of replacing Reus: 15%

Kevin Grosskreutz

Yes, Big Kev can pretty much do the job wherever his coach puts him. Playing on the left wing isn’t something that he hasn’t done before, however, given the competition and the quality in the squad it seems rather unlikely that he’ll replace his Borussia Dortmund teammate Marco Reus. The fan favourite could end up grabbing a few minutes in the dress of the national team; however, it is more likely that he’ll feature in another position. For example, should Löw decide to use Philipp Lahm in the midfield, Grosskreutz might certainly be amongst the candidates to slot in Lahm’s vacated right back position. Should a a disaster scenario with many injuries and bans actually occur, Grosskreutz might be one of the players who could take up this spot in Löw’s starting line up.

Chances of replacing Reus: 5%

What do you think? Who should replace Marco Reus in Löw’s starting line-up?

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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