Germany U21 head-coach Antonio di Salvo declared himself pleased with the form of two of his up-ticking at a presser earlier this week.
As Germany’s highest youth level prepares to face Estonia and Poland in a pair of qualifying fixtures for the 2025 UEFA U21 European Championship, Germany U21 head-coach Antonio di Salvo expressed his pleasure in having two youngsters very much on the rise working within his camp. Both SC Freiburg’s Merlin Röhl and Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Rocco Reitz both scored their first goals for their respective senior sides in the week leading up to the international break.
Freiburg’s Röhl, in particular appears to be on the precipice of a breakthrough. The 21-year-old attacking midfielder provided the impetus for a rout in Freiburg’s most recent Europa League fixture. A scant three days later, he netted a wonder goal against Leipzig in the league. Reitz earned special praise from his trainer for scoring a stunner in Gladbach’s match-day 11 rout of Wolfsburg. Di Salvo singled both players out when discussing his latest selection.
“It’s important that we have players like Merlin and Rocco,” di Salvo said, “they have momentum on their side. Rocco’s development is progressing and he impresses me. He’s a player who always wants the ball, who isn’t afraid of being played on in tight situations and who has also rewarded himself with his first Bundesliga goal. He did that in a very cool and cool-headed manner.”
“He fought his way into [Freiburg’s] team,” di Salvo said when discussing Röhl, “That’s not easy. He focused on defensive work and also came into his own offensively. He scored a very nice goal on Sunday with a great solo run that highlights his qualities. He’s very quick and determined, a strong shot-stopper, he also scored a very nice goal in the European Cup. He’s very dangerous at the moment.”
Di Salvo appeared in an optimistic mood as he had nothing but good news to report insofar as his squad was concerned. The return from injury of players such as Eric Martel, Jan Thielmann, and Marton Dardai, the coach was sure to note, strengthened his squad significantly. Di Salvo declared himself “delighted that all three are back on board”.
The trainer didn’t directly address the absence of Karim Adeyemi, but did emphasize that – following a stelar performance in the last international break – he was looking forward to once again seeing Adeyemi’s club teammate Youssoufa Moukoko back in action.
“[Moukoko’s] five goals is a noteworthy figure,” di Salvo noted, “I hope he’ll be able to remain in the zone.”