Julian Nagelsmann confirms Kai Havertz won’t play left-back again and if a return for Toni Kroos is possible

In an interview with Sportstudio (via @imiasanmia), Julian Nagelsmann commented on his time so far as Germany’s national team head coach including whether Kai Havertz will play left-back again and a potential return for Toni Kroos. 

Nagelsmann opens the interview with his thoughts on taking the national team job and leading the team into a home Euros: : “Of course I knew and know that it was difficult. It’s a big but also exciting task that we can take on with success, everyone together, the players, the coaching staff. At my age, it’s an incredible privilege to be in charge at a home European Championship. I won’t experience that again as a coach. “There’s pressure, that’s completely normal in football. Everyone evaluates your work every day – not just me, but also the players. But I believe that when we get to the opening game in Munich, we should first of all feel joy and this privilege that it’s something special to play a European Championship in our country”

In the November international break, Havertz had started at left-back under Nagelsmann and there was a possibility that he could retain that role heading into the Euros in the summer. Still, when asked about it Nagelsmann said: “Yes, it’s over. Although it wasn’t a failure. He played two very good games”

One of the key questions heading into the Euros is who will start in goal for Germany with Marc-André ter Stegen having a strong period at Barcelona before his injury and Manuel Neuer who has returned from his broken leg suffered last year. Nagelsmann provided clarity on the situation: “Both are exceptional goalkeepers. Marc is unfortunately injured at the moment. Manu has been doing extremely well since his comeback. In the end, it’s about the success of the team. As a coach, my task is to pick the best players. Both know that” Nagelsmann late confirms Neuer will get his chance in the March international break: “If everything continues as it is currently towards March, then it’s heading in that direction”

Full back has been a problem area for Germany for a while and Nagelsmann confirms that there is a possibility that Joshua Kimmich may play at right-back soon: “I’ve never ruled it out. In the last games, the idea was to play with a back 3 in possession, which is not Josh’s position.” When pressed if Kimmich is okay with playing in the position, Nagelsmann said: “Josh puts himself at the service of the team.”

The defending has also been an issue for Germany and Nagelsmann plans to make changes to sure up the defence: “We have to change the squad structure a bit in order to become more ‘defensive monsters’. The question always is: How do you pick the first eleven? How many players do you have in there that think offensively? How many defensive-minded players should you have? It will be more about profiles than names. We’ll make adjustments. We have learned our lessons from the last games”

Finally, Nagelsmann is asked about a potential return of Toni Kroos to the national team, on the midfielder Nagelsmann said: “Interesting thought. My job is to think about all German players. Toni is a great person who says his opinion clearly, and a very successful footballer. You can talk to him about everything…”I think playing a Euros at home is an attractive prospect for all German players. It depends on him, his performances and on other players”

GGFN | Jack Meenan

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