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Löw facing striker problem in Euro 2020

2021 May 25, 10:04, Kathmandu
Germany Football Coach, Joachim Löw

Going into his last major tournament, departing Joachim Low must deal with a significant poacher problem.

While fans in the national league enjoyed the goal-festival created by Robert Lewandowski (41), Andre Silva (28), and Erling Haaland (27), a German spearhead is not in sight.

Facing 2018 world champion France, 2016 European champion Portugal, and underdog Hungary in Group F, the German coach is forced to do the job counting on a false nine.

Other than most of his leading European competitors, the 61-year-old has to try to solve the shortage upfront with a range of strikers far from what you call a goal-machine in the box.

"We haven't got what you call a typical 9 and what you see in the squads of other nations," Moenchengladbach managing director Max Eberl said.

"England has Harry Kane, France Karim Benzema or Olivier Giroud and Spain Alvaro Morata," Eberl added.

The Bundesliga's most successful native striker Lars Stindl (13 league goals), hasn't been selected for Low 2020 Euro squad. Stindl reached position 7 in the 2020-21 Bundesliga season but is more of an offensive midfielder.

Seven of the top 10 in the Bundesliga's topscorer list are foreign footballers not available for Low.

Chelsea and Germany striker, Timo Werner (GER, 9)
Chelsea and Germany striker, Timo Werner (GER, 9)

Since former Bayern Munich striker Miroslav Klose retired in 2014 (137 games/71 goals), German football didn't manage to solve its striker difficulties. The national coach has to operate with wingers or midfielders.

To survive the 2020 Euro, Low has to rely on a false-nine-type of strikers such as Timo Werner, Kai Havertz (Chelsea), Thomas Mueller (Bayern), and Kevin Volland (Monaco).

Former Leverkusen striker Volland is the nearest to the requirements of a number 9.

The 28-year-old is one of Low's surprises after only 10 games in the German shirt (1 goal). Volland did his last match for Germany in November 2016 and had disappeared from most fans' radar since then.

Former Leverkusen striker Havertz enjoyed an upswing after a difficult start in the Premier League, but like Volland, it is far from the contribution Lewandowski or Haaland stand for.

"Kevin Volland hasn't been around for a while, but we saw his development in the French league. He stands for robustness, assertiveness and we hope to benefit from his goal-scoring abilities," Low explained his choice.

Short of box-strikers, Low might have remembered the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina (1-0) scored by midfielder Mario Goetze.

Low's starting point at the end of his 15 years in charge seems far from ideal. Not only his selection upfront appears like a grab-bag.

Mats Hummels (Dortmund) and Thomas Mueller's return might prove a failed rejuvenation of the German squad. Low, though, can't be blamed for the German striker problem in his attempt to achieve a successful farewell.

"This is something the entire league has to solve, and it's one of the primary tasks for German football," Eberl said, adding the examples of Lewandowski, Haaland, and Silva must be proving enough a crackerjack might be somehow helpful in modern football


football Germany sports game Euro 2020 competition champion werner havartz low
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