Jonathan Tah 20 Defender Bayer 04 Leverkusen Germany
As former German international and the current Bayer 04 Leverkusen Sporting Director Rudi Voller summarized when asked about Jonathan Tah, “Jonathan belongs to a new generation of centre-backs who are very good footballers.” Short, sweet and 100% true. Jonathan Tah belongs in a small, elite group of exciting central defenders who are bloody excellent on the ball.
Just so you know, the other two are Raphael Varane and John Stones. Those three – barring serious injury – will become the standard bearers for centre-backs over the next five years.
Built like a brick shithouse Tah has – as we’ve mentioned – the technical ability to back up our claim. He’s a natural with the ball at his feet and stands head and shoulders above his peers as the best young defender that Germany have got.
He’s got everything needed to be a leader of a defensive line. As well as the physical power and the technical skill, he’s also excellent in his defensive work and a decent communicator. His anticipation of play is very good and his ability to keep his powder dry is a big plus. He’s gone through 2016 picking up just five yellow cards.
2016 has been…
Tah’s quick rise through the ranks of German football makes perfect sense. The entire country has worked hard to ensure there are coaches and procedures in place that allow footballers to become the very best that they can.
The teenagers that work their way through the academies are given the best chance of succeeding in the game, and when one comes along that needs to be sky rocketed to the top – they go for that too.
Off the back of an excellent season for Leverkusen that saw the club conceding just 40 league goals and finishing third in the table, he was included in the Germany squad that went to the European Championships in France. He didn’t play and in truth, he may have a job on his hands replacing Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng in the next couple of years but the signs are already there that eventually the throne will be his.
This season has seen a drop in his performances and a drop all around the entire Leverkusen team. So far there is nothing to suggest that it will be worse than anything any other player goes through. The entire squad have all looked a little off the pace. Just 12 league games into the season and we can tell they will need to go some to get back into the Champions League spots (assuming they don’t just win the competition).
For Tah we get the feeling that his days at Leverkusen are numbered. He has proven himself capable of playing in the biggest competitions. In fact, capable doesn’t really give him enough credit. He has been assured in the biggest competitions, and we expect he’ll be able to pick the club that goes to next.
A super-club; and a place at the heart of their defence for years to come.
C+ An eventual an upgrade on Jerome Boateng for Germany
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