As a dark cloud hangs over Germany after a string of forgettable performances in the last three major tournaments, the Deutscher Fußball-Bund (DFB) appointed former Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann as the manager for the national team until Euro 2024 which will be played on their home soil.
Ironically, Nagelsmann will be replacing Hansi Flick, another former Bayern coach, at the helm. Flick had started well in the role with eight wins in his first eight matches but ultimately faced the same malaise that had plagued his predecessor Joachim Low.
Germany were unable to make inroads into the oppositions’ defence while their own backline was increasingly vulnerable against attacking threats.
One of the most potent problems they face is not having a proper number 9, an issue that new boss Nagelsmann will be pretty familiar with. During his time as Bayern manager, he had to cope without a recognised central striker after Robert Lewandowski had left for Barcelona. He would try plugging the gap with Sadio Mane, Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry and ultimately went with Cameroonian striker Eric Chupo Moting.
In the German system, Nagelsmann will have Niclas Füllkrug at his disposal, a decent striker but he is already 30 years of age and a short-term solution at best. But considering that the Euro is under a year away from now, it’s safe to assume that Füllkrug is the best bet Germany have under Nagelsmann’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.
Behind Füllkrug, Nagelsmann has an embarrassment of riches to choose from with core players from Bayern like Jamal Musiala, Muller, Gnabry, and Leon Goretzka as well as Barcelona’s Ilkay Gundogan all in contention.
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