20 Defender Borussia Dortmund Germany
2014 has been...
…solid, again, then slightly difficult but nothing to worry about yet.
Last season Matthias Ginter, at times, looked a colossus of a player at just 19 years of age. As Freiburg struggled but ultimately achieved their objective of avoiding relegation, Ginter emerged as a key player. He did enough to earn a place in the triumphant German World Cup squad although admittedly, he didn’t see a minute of action. The experience will have been vital and Germany have history of this, taking Mario Gotze when nowhere near fit to Euro2012 to acknowledge tournament football is more than just what happens on the pitch for instance. This proves those in charge believe he has a long future ahead and that international place is very much there for the taking. In a World Cup winning side it seems a crazy thing to say, but in reality the real strength in German depth is all further up the pitch. Ginter’s composure and maturity are incredible for a 20-year old and it seems he is being eased into a side that would like to keep him there for a decade or more.
With Freiberg’s less than stellar season he was always going to attract offers in the summer and he has plenty of admirers. Having spent much of last year saying sensible things like he was committed to his team and if he were to move it would be somewhere he would play, it would be fair to say he’s ended up gambling. It became pretty much a two-horse race between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal, although others were reported to be interested but this may have been price-pushing, and Ginter made his club aware that there was no way he would still be there beyond the summer.
Jürgen Klopp convinced him to move to Dortmund for €10m (which if he lives up to his potential will prove to have been ridiculously cheap) where they already have the excellent Hummels/Subotic pairing and the very capable Sokratis Papastathopoulos to deputise in the centre. Further up the pitch where Ginter has been played as a defensive midfielder he has to get himself ahead of Sven Bender and live with the possibility of Ilkay Gündogan getting back to his very best. Not easy in either respect and so far his BVB career has yet to get going. It takes time to settle, particularly if you’ve given yourself mountains to climb to get into and stay in the first team.
Ginter is capable of pushing past his competition and with Dortmund’s struggling start to the season no place in their first team is safe. There are also the persistent questions over Mats Hummels future at the club that may see him leave some big shoes to fill. Matthias Ginter is more than capable of taking that role but will need time and patience. If this is given, we’re certain the rewards will be huge.
His versatility is, perhaps, the reason why Dortmund moved so quick to sign him from under Arsenal’s collective noses. Both Hummels and Subotic have suffered with injury, and ahead of him the defensive midfield positions have also often been a problem for the club. Knowing he can fill in either position makes him a very valuable member of the squad, but for the player himself he must fight hard to avoid O’Shea syndrome.
You see versatility is a manager’s friend. To have a player who can fit into various roles within his team is a substitute’s bench Godsend. For the player involved it can become a curse, particularly defensively, as the opportunity to specialise becomes less frequent. What you end up with is John O’Shea; a very competent footballer but not one for the first eleven of a Champion’s League winning team. It’s the dreaded “Jack-of-all-trades” thing, and we really want Matthias Ginter to master one.
For us he’s a powerful, deceptively quick modern defender. He can play as a defensive midfielder but he never looks quite as comfortable (for our money anyway) as he does at centre back. Either way Klopp has himself a player and one for the longer term, as do Germany themselves. Dortmund will rise up the table and he will play his part, you missed out on another one Mr. Wenger…
“It's been a slow adjustment period at Dortmund but Ginter's versatility and talent are there for everyone to see. A German international for years to come” – Cristian Nyari
"Matthias Ginter was the only Freiburg player to feature in all 34 of their league matches in 2013/14." - OptaJoe
C Coming along nicely but has taken a big move and there’s a challenge ahead, needs to settle and work hard to get into that first team and stay there.
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