World Cup in Qatar: Candidate for the national team: Niklas Füllkrug receives further prominent encouragement

It was probably an advantage for Niklas Füllkrug that national coach Hansi Flick was at the Sinsheim stadium last Friday evening.

World Cup in Qatar: Candidate for the national team: Niklas Füllkrug receives further prominent encouragement

It was probably an advantage for Niklas Füllkrug that national coach Hansi Flick was at the Sinsheim stadium last Friday evening. Under the eyes of the national coach, who conveniently lives in Bammental, just 20 kilometers away, Füllkrug provided the template for the 1-0 win over TSG Hoffenheim and decided the game himself with a penalty in the 87th minute. Werder won 2-1 and is also thanks to the goals by Füllkrug in fifth place in the table. He currently leads the top scorer list with eight goals. For Füllkrug and Werder things are going great as promoted teams.

Nevertheless, there is one question that is becoming more and more urgent as the World Cup in Qatar approaches: Will Flick take the goalscorer with him to the World Cup? The national team lacks just such a type of player, a classic number 9, which is particularly characterized by its strong physique and headball strength, and at the same time has a good level technically and playfully. The past international matches have shown that efficiency in front of goal is currently not one of the strengths of the national team.

For weeks, the chorus of those who want to see Füllkrug in the national team, not as a regular player, but as a sensible alternative on the bench, has been growing. Lothar Matthäus sees the best chances for the Bremen attacker if Flick actually wants to have such a type of player with him.

Recently, two important voices have joined. In his podcast "Einfach mal Luppen" none other than Toni Kroos also spoke out for the filling jug. "If you look at the current form, I think it should be an issue. I know that Hansi is well informed about every German player. Of course he also knows what types of players he has and what he doesn't. And a player type Niclas Füllkrug is currently not included," said the 2014 world champion.

He is always a big fan of having players in the squad for “all situations”, Kroos continues. "We almost always had someone like that with us, like Miro (Klose), Mario Gomez, and I think those are types of players who can help you in certain situations. And that's why I'm very, very sure that Hansi because it makes you think."

Füllkrug found another advocate in Michael Ballack, even if he was more reserved. "Niclas Füllkrug has no international experience yet. Hansi Flick will consider whether he fits into the system. But of course he's currently the top scorer. And strikers who score are always useful in the squad."

For Füllkrug it means waiting and showing performance. Even the striker declines to comment on the debate, which is probably the smartest thing to do. He will have noticed attentively that the national coach made very positive comments after his appearance in the game against Hoffenheim. "He has a very good run and is doing really well. He gives our team an element that we don't have in this form," said Flick after the game. At the same time, he dampened expectations because Füllkrug is apparently not the only candidate to fill the vacancy as a real number nine. "We see some players in this position who could potentially strengthen our squad."

Sources: DPA, "kicker", "sport1"

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