Leon Goretzka has developed and slowly outgrown Schalke and will most likely leave the club soon with Arsenal reportedly very interested but Liverpool allegedly close to his signature.
Leon Goretzka plays in a central midfield role at Schalke and could be a solution for Arsenal’s midfield problems with Santi Cazorla is out for the foreseeable future.
With just six months left on his deal, signing Goretzka is real a possibility. However, with some of Europe’s biggest clubs also said to be interested and Liverpool reportedly close to a deal, it’s unclear whether Arsenal really have a chance.
Goretzka started his youth career in Bochum and Schalke 04 soon spotted his potential.
A deal was made in 2013 for €3.25m and Goretzka has gone on to represent Schalke 04 in 130 games so far.
The midfielder is also a part of Germany’s senior national team, making his debut in 2014.
Last season, he made 41 appearances, scoring eight and creating six.
This term, he’s already scored four goals in 11 Bundesliga appearances.
However, what would he bring with him to a new club?
2Style and strength
Goretzka is primarily a defensively midfielder.
The German’s defensive work is his biggest strength and of great value to Schalke 04. However, he’s equally good when playing in a more offensive role.
The six-foot-two-inch 22-year-old has huge physical strength and is a dominating force in midfield. He uses his physicality to dominate the opposition and eliminate the threat from high balls at set-pieces.
On average, Goretzka makes 2.1 tackles and 0.8 clearances per game, and his great tactical awareness is shown in the 2.3 interceptions he makes over a single match.
When going forward, the midfielder creates 1.13 chances and 1.03 key passes per game and often finds himself in good positions to score himself.
He relishes the opportunity to test the goalkeeper, making on average 1.7 shots per game.
His passing is good and he completes 78% of all passes but that number could be improved if he goes on to play in a more possession-oriented team.
Goretzka doesn’t have any serious weaknesses in his style and approach to the game.
The only problems he’s faced in recent times occurred when he was deployed as a right winger and his attempts at crossing would have embarrassed even Hector Bellerin.
His skills are best used in midfield and the player isn’t suited to playing on either flank.
4Can he help Arsenal?
At just 22, Goretzka has the world at his feet.
He has enough talent to make it as one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe. His mature approach and decision making already show what kind of player he could develop into.
Arsene Wenger could solve any future midfield problems with the German and Arsenal would get their hands on a hidden gem that went unnoticed for far too long.
The problem with bringing Goretzka to the Emirates is the competition from the likes of Liverpool (and others) who are all keen to capture his signature. Liverpool are also believed to have an ace up their sleeve in Jurgen Klopp, reportedly a real draw for Goretzka.
In saying that, we could get agent Kolasinac on the case. Sead played with Goretzka for four years at Schalke and the player might prefer to have a familiar face around if he joins a new club.
At present, however, that all seems like wishful thinking.