Karim Adeyemi didn't have to think long about the call from Antonio Di Salvo. The football professional does not see the fact that the 21-year-old was once again nominated for the German U21 team after four senior international matches and a weak start to the season at Borussia Dortmund as a downgrade.
“I quickly decided to come here,” said Adeyemi about his U21 return a good two years after winning the European Championship title. "I was happy to be able to play in the U21 again. For me it was the next step to be here and help."
Instead of going on tour to the USA with the senior national team and the new national coach Julian Nagelsmann, Adeyemi is now flying to Bulgaria with the U21s. The next European Championship qualifier is on Friday (6.15 p.m./ProSieben Maxx) in Sofia. The later scheduled game in Israel was canceled after the attack by the Islamist Hamas. With a clear win, the U21s could take the lead in the table for the time being. "We definitely want to win against Bulgaria," said Adeyemi. "I'm absolutely ready for the game."
Adeyemi: “The U21s are very good for me”
He is immediately planned as a permanent fixture in the youth selection. “He can gain match practice and self-confidence from us,” said Di Salvo. "He identifies with the task, wants to move forward and accepts the challenge." Adeyemi said after a few days in Di Salvo's team: "The U21s are very good for me because I can give it my all in every training session and hopefully play a good game." His club colleague Youssoufa Moukoko and Frankfurt's Ansgar Knauff were also recently able to gain self-confidence in the U21.
Adeyemi can now just as easily use a sense of achievement. After his strong second half of the 2022/23 season, he has had a weak season for BVB so far. He was disappointing in his few starting eleven appearances and is still without a goal contribution. “I don’t know of any reasons,” said the fast winger about his form crisis. "There are a few phases in life where things just don't work out. That's how it is for me right now. You get out of every phase, and I do my best to do that." He works hard in the weight room, in practice and on the field.
The footballer made headlines off the pitch last summer when he and rapper Loredana published photos together in which they can be seen together in familiar situations. On Hessischer Rundfunk's "Deutschrap ideal" the 28-year-old reported about getting to know each other over a kebab. Adeyemi had to get this. “Karim, what should people think,” she told Adeyemi, Loredana reported with a laugh. "I'm here with some 21-year-old footballer and I'm going to get kebabs, never, get these kebabs now." Afterwards she realized: "I have a good boy sitting next to me who is funny and with whom I get along."
Adeyemi wants to make sporting headlines again
Most recently, the media speculated that the relationship with Loredana could be one of the reasons for Adeyemi's form crisis - an accusation that the young footballer rejected in clear words. "If it goes against family, friends or my girlfriend, it goes too far for me too. These are the last people to blame," he said.
In the U21 he wants to finally make sporting headlines again - and thus play his way back into Nagelsmann's focus after the disappointing World Cup trip to Qatar last year. “He spoke to me and said it would be good for me to come here,” Adeyemi said. "Of course the goal is to get back into the senior national team and show what I can do."