Patrick Herrmann 22 Midfielder Borussia Mönchengladbach Germany
2013 has been…
The German youth system is en vogue in European football currently. After the shambles that was the national team’s efforts at Euro 2000; there was a lot of soul searching within the corridors of German football’s highest organisations and they set about creating plans that would constantly see their national team manager spoilt for choice.
It seems to be working. It’s not all perfect and there are some areas of the “German model” that need work but for now, it’s hard to argue they aren’t producing a ton of impressive young players for Joachim Löw to choose from.
As such, it’s rather impressive in our minds that Patrick Herrmann has been capped at every youth level by the German national teams and is in line to add a senior cap to that long list in the next 12 months.
Herrmann is another youngster benefiting from Borussia Monchengladbach and manager Lucien Favre trusting in the youth academy to produce players capable of improving the team. Along with the much-heralded Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Herrmann helped the club reach the Champions League qualifying stages in 2012 and is now playing a big role as the side push for another top four finish in the Bundesliga.
Despite being only 22, Patrick is vastly experienced compared to his immediate peers. He has played over 100 times in the German top flight and been involved in 39 goals, scoring 19 and assisting 20, from his usual position on the right wing.
A thrilling player with the thirst to get forward and be involved in goals, Herrmann’s growth in 2011/12 helped some Gladbach fans accept the imminent departure of Marco Reus easier than they may have been expected to. He possesses a work rate defensively that even Reus would proud of, as he retreats into formation when his side are without possession. Patrick runs hard, getting up and down the field as often as possible. That often sees him withdrawn as he knackers himself out too early and in fact, this season he has finished just one of his 13 league starts.
In the last 18 months, Herrmann has been a regular fixture in the German under-21 side and should get a run-out in the senior squad between now and the summer. That will crucially depend on him being able to continue his fine early season form. Two years ago, he should really have picked up his first cap with the senior squad.
Playing in tandem with Reus, Gladbach were in the midst of a title race and Herrmann had contributed 12 goals to the cause, six goals and six assists. He looked an outside shout for Euro 2012 until an injury in February toyed around with his finish to the season. The 20 year-old played 10 times in the season run-in but only produced one assist to show for his hard work. The injury disrupted his rhythm and he slipped from contention in parallel with Gladbach running out of steam in the title race.
This time around; he won’t be going to the World Cup unless injuries take out five or six of Joachim Löw’s squad and force him to include some untested players. However, we trust Herrmann would do a good job. He’s a quick and skillful winger used to playing in systems not too dissimilar to how Löw likes to operate. If required; he’d slot in and be barely noticed as a newcomer.
For Herrmann; he needs to put together a full season of constantly improving performances. Niggling injuries and dips in form usually attributed to his age have so far meant that Patrick has sparkled in phases. Impressive phases; but we’d really like him to piece that together across a whole campaign.
If he can do that and do it this year, it’ll give Gladbach a second headache during the summer transfer window. Marc-Andre ter Stegen is said to Barcelona’s prime target as they work to replace Victor Valdes ahead of next season. Herrmann could be another player welcoming a host of interest.
He’s be likened to Franck Ribery in the recent past but we see him doing more of a role akin to German centurion Lukas Podolski. Herrmann puts in a similar shift, creates as many goals and knows that he is required to take a chance in the area from time-to-time. We’re happy to dismiss the comparison to Luka Modric straight out of hand; especially as deploying Herrmann in a deep, central role would mean losing out on his running down the flanks.
With three figures already reached in the Bundesliga, he’s something of an old hand in the dynamic Gladbach side that are quickly turning Borussia Park into a fortress. They are currently in fourth place in the league, comfortably and have the experience of two years ago to spur them onwards. Patrick, for all his suitors, may well be intrigued by a first crack at Europe’s premier competition wearing the colours of Gladbach.
"Borussia Mönchengladbach have one of the Bundesliga's most potent offenses and have the best home record so far and in large part due to Herrmann whose biggest strength is an incredible work rate and ability to create chances out of nothing." - Cristian Nyari, Bundesligafanatic.com
"Can attack. Can defend. Scores goals. Patrick Herrmann shouldered a lot of pressure when Reus departed for Dortmund and is starting to come out the other end. One of the most feared wingers in the German league; it'll be a shame to see him follow Marko and Marco out the door." - Ryan Keaney, IBWM
"This season Patrick Herrmann has delivered five assists from open play in the Bundesliga; joint-most with Marco Reus." - Opta
C+ Would improve 95% of squads in the Champions League and likely to be on every shopping list