“It’s a luxury problem to have” – Julian Nagelsmann on defensive selection headache

Nico Schlotterbeck replaced the suspended Jonathan Tah in Germany’s 2-0 win against Denmark on Saturday night as they secured their place in the Euro 2024 quarter-finals, but it leaves Julian Nagelsmann with a selection headache.

Goals from Kai Havertz and Jamal Musiala earned Germany their first win in knockout football since 2017 after being knocked out of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups at the group stage, while they lost against England in the last edition of the European Championship.

But while perhaps not as clinical going forward as they would have liked, it was a strong defensive display from Germany.

Schlotterbeck replaced Tah, and was selected ahead of Waldemar Anton, and he rewarded Nagelsmann with an excellent performance alongside Antonio Rüdiger.

The Borussia Dortmund player thought he had opened the scoring, but his header was ruled out for a foul in the build-up. But Schlotterbeck did assist Musiala for Germany’s second of the night. Not only is the 24-year-old the only left-footed centre-back in the squad, but his range of passing is exquisite, and he can play in a high line like Nagelsmann wants, hence his selection ahead of Mats Hummels.

But with Tah available for their game against Spain or Georgia, it leaves Nagelsmann with a decision to make.

“I’m happy for Schlotti that he did his job perfectly in his home stadium tonight,” said Nagelsmann. “But Tah also played very well in the games before. I can choose between very good placers. It’s a luxury problem to have.”

GGFN | Daniel Pinder

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