Former Germany star Lothar Matthaus has slammed Julian Nagelsmann’s decision to play Kai Havertz at left back against Turkey.
The new Germany boss raised eyebrows when his German side lined up with Arsenal forward Havertz in defence for their final match of the current international break.
It looked like the move could have been a stroke of genius when Havertz scored just five minutes into the game, but he struggled at times in an unfamiliar position throughout the rest of the tie with Germany conceding three times in their 3-2 defeat and the 24-year-old giving away the penalty that led to the final goal.
Nagelsmann was pleased with Havertz’s efforts, insisting that the player ‘wanted’ to play the role that and he was ‘probably our best player’ despite playing left back for the first time in his career.
But Matthaus, who played 150 times for Germany between 1980 and 2000, criticised the call, insisting in his latest Sky Sports column it should be the last time the experiment happens.
‘Havertz brings a lot of quality, but he was not trained in this position, but in the offensive and mainly centrally,’ he wrote. ‘I accept that the national coach wanted to try something out, but I hope it doesn't happen again - even though Havertz was one of the better players against Turkey.
‘If I want to have his qualities in the team, I have to find a place where he can show the extra class that he partly embodied during the last World Cup.’
‘It can't be a permanent solution if I suddenly let one of the best German offensive players of recent years play full-back. This is also a slap in the face to those who last played there, even if there were problems on the left side of the defense recently.’
Nagelsmann, who was only appointed GermanyRead on m.allfootballapp.com