On Monday SportBild reported that Uli Hoeness had once again upped the ante in the ongoing goalkeeper feud between Manuel Neuer and Marc Andre ter Stegen. After the Champions League match against Red Star Belgrade Hoeness spoke about the consequences of a change in guard in the national team’s goal, saying:
“Before that happens, we won’t send any players to the national team.”
Hoeness had in the week prior to the statement demurred the lack of support for Manuel Neuer coming from both the DFB and South-German press. DFB director Oliver Bierhoff was quick to point that Bayern don’t have the means to deny their players to compete for the national team, adding:
“Both of us know that we need each other.”
A national team without Bayern players: Could it work?
Even though Hoeness might have once again said something too hastily, putting forward a threat that he possibly couldn’t follow up, it would be eyeopening to see what a Germany side without Bayern players would look like.
Right now there are five Bayern players playing in the national team on regular basis. Manuel Neuer, Niklas Süle, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry are pretty much guaranteed a lot of playing time going forward.
However, given that the club hasn’t emphasized bringing youth players through its ranks or buying the best German talent, there aren’t any other players in the club’s squad that could possibly be nominated in the future.
So what would Jogi Löw’s option be if he suddenly couldn’t nominate any Bayern players.
Team captain Manuel Neuer has been a key component of the national team side for almost a decade now. However, Marc Andre ter Stegen has shown at club level that he is equally good. The numbers even show that ter Stegen performs at a slightly higher level in the Champions League than his opponent. Loosing Neuer would be a blow, but Marc Andre ter Stegen would be a very capable replacement.
Right back/holding midfield
Joshua Kimmich has been at times the national team’s best right back and a very capable holding midfielder. There are few players who read the game as well as the former RB Leipzig and VfB Stuttgart man and his performances on the pitch have been vital. At right back there’s Lukas Klostermann ready to fill his boots, and in holding midfield there are a host of players who could fill in. However, the loss in quality from the national team would be considerable. Kimmich would probably be the most difficult player to replace.
Niklas Süle has established himself as Germany’s best defender. The options at hands to replace him aren’t plentiful and there would be a drop in quality if Süle wasn’t at hand. Antonio Rüdiger and Thilo Keherer have played for Germany in the past, but none of them are as capable at the back as Süle.
Leon Goretzka was out with an injury during the last international break. His presence in the team wasn’t sorely missed, but he is definitely among the contenders for a spot in the starting line up during the 2020 EUROs. Right now Kai Havertz, Emre Can or Julian Draxler could step in and fill Goretzka’s spot on the pitch.
Jogi Löw doesn’t hide the fact that he likes Serge Gnabry a lot. The national team coach has stated that the winger starts whenever he is fit. However, there are other options at hand for Löw if Gnabry isn’t available. Leroy Sane is going to return from injury at some point, Julian Brandt and Timo Werner could both move out on the wing as well.
If Bayern’s players were to be removed from the national team it would give Jogi Löw a few headaches. The most difficult task would be to replace Niklas Süle, Joshua Kimmich and Serge Gnabry. However, there are capable players at hand to fill all of those spots. Given that Bayern haven’t emphasized creating German talents themselves or buying them on the transfer market, it seems like the importance of the club to the German national team has somewhat decreased compared to earlier years.
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