Julian Nagelsmann, the Germany coach, recently clarified his decision to field Kai Havertz from Arsenal as a left-back during the friendly match against Turkey.
In an unconventional move, Havertz, primarily an attacking midfielder, took on the left-back role, scoring a goal but also conceding a penalty during the game, which ultimately ended with a 3-2 victory for Turkey. This match formed part of Germany’s less than ideal preparations for hosting Euro 2024.
Nagelsmann’s debut home game as manager was overshadowed by the spotlight on Havertz’s unorthodox position on the field. Havertz, known for his versatility across various positions such as No.10, false-nine, striker, and right-winger, had recently been operating deeper in midfield as a No.8 under Arsenal’s manager, Mikel Arteta.
However, his stint as a left-back added yet another dimension to his diverse skill set, playing alongside his former Chelsea teammate, Antonio Rudiger, in a back four formation.
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Addressing this tactical choice in a conversation with RTL before the match, Nagelsmann explained, “Kai won’t always find himself in this specific position. I have an innovative vision for his role on the field, considering his exceptional talent. While playing as a classic left-back won’t be the norm for him, it certainly remains a valuable option for our strategy.”
This experimental deployment of Havertz in an unfamiliar position showcased Nagelsmann’s willingness to explore tactical variations and exploit the versatility of his players, even if it resulted in an unconventional outcome for the team in this particular game