Goretzka in demand after new diet-aided healing

- - AP, SOCHI

Jun 26, 2017-

With his lung-bursting runs, shrewd vision on the ball and versatility linking up play, Leon Goretzka’s reputation as Germany’s midfield dynamo is growing by the game.

Thanks in no small part to a change in diet. Once lethargic and injury prone, Goretzka eradicated dairy, pork and nuts from his menu and he’s never looked back. A debilitating bowel inflammation that used to slow his recovery has been soothed by the nutritional changes and the 22-year-old midfielder is now one of the in-demand players in Europe. “I have changed my diet in the extreme,” Goretzka said on Saturday. “It’s been the case for a year now.”

Having been denied a part in Germany’s World Cup-winning campaign in Brazil in 2014 due to injury, Goretzka has been making a resounding case for inclusion in the squad in Russia next year. Goretzka has excelled as a midfielder fulcrum in an inexperienced squad brought to Russia this month for the Confederations Cup by coach Joachim Loew. After playing a role in all the goals in the opening 3-2 victory over Australia in Group ‘B’, Goretzka went one better by opening his international account to force a 1-1 draw with Chile on Thursday.

Goretzka is trying to downplay the hype, shutting out the plaudits from pundits in the same way he tells younger players to ignore bad ratings in newspapers.

Loew has no qualms about talking up Goretzka’s influence on the team. “He has delivered,” Loew said. “Given his youth he is already quite a personality in this team and it seems to be clear that he is carefully planning the next steps in his career.” That could involve a move from Schalke, with German champion Bayern Munich and FA Cup holder Arsenal linked with a move for Goretzka in the summer transfer window.

Loew has been offering guidance to a player who is already displaying maturity beyond his 22 years. Though Goretzka rails against the commercialisation of football, his technique, pace and flexibility across midfield has made him a valuable commodity.

 In 41 appearances last season, Goretzka scored eight goals and provided eight assists for Schalke. In a year, Goretzka could leave for free when his contract expires.

 

Published: 26-06-2017 08:53

User's Feedback

Click here for your comments

Comment via Facebook

Don't have facebook account? Use this form to comment