Monday, May 31, 2021
Nmecha on detours to the DFB
U21 star is already thinking of the Flick-Elf
The goal of the German U21 national team is Lukas Nmecha. The footballer is still playing for England in 2018. A strong commitment by national coach Stefan Kuntz prompts him to swap jerseys. One he doesn’t regret.
Lukas Nmecha has not regretted his shirt swapping for a second. “I’ve been here with the German U21s for two years now, longer than at any club,” said the DFB team’s goalscorer, who wore the England shirt until 2018, at the EM training camp in South Tyrol. His conclusion before his last games for the time being in the Germany jersey was therefore all-round positive: “I feel at home here.”
Two years ago, Stefan Kuntz flew to England especially to convince Hamburg-born Nmecha to change his football nationality. The DFB coach spent two days with the attacker’s family and brought two important insights with him. First: Lukas Nmecha will wear the German jersey in the future. Second: “Papa Nmecha makes some of the best scrambled eggs there is.”
The change has long paid off: With ten goals in 17 appearances, Nmecha is by far the best shooter in the current U21 team. In both the qualification (seven goals) and the group stage (two) of the 2021 European Championship, he was the team’s life insurance. But now the time as a junior national player ends for the 22-year-old as well as for many teammates.
After the EM to the new club?
Whereby: Participation in the Olympic Games in Tokyo in the summer is not excluded. And at some point Nmecha also hopes to play in the senior national team. “Sure, there is Timo Werner, of course, who does it very well. But I see a way. That doesn’t mean I’ll jump in there straight away. But I hope I’ll be close soon,” he says.
This makes the next step at club level all the more important. Nmecha still has one year of contract with Manchester City, but has been awarded to four clubs since 2018, including VfL Wolfsburg. Most recently, Nmecha, who scored the winning goal in the final of the U19 European Championships in England in 2017, was allowed to stay at RSC Anderlecht for a full year. With 18 goals, he was fifth on the top scorer list in Belgium.
But what happens after the U21 European Championship? “I try to keep my head clear and concentrate fully on the games that are coming,” says Nmecha, but also admits: “Of course there is a bit in the back of my mind. I will see what happens after the European Championship. I have to think carefully about the next step. “
On the other hand, Nmecha no longer has to worry about his football nationality, a way back to England is out of the question. But the striker, whose mother is from Mönchengladbach and whose father is from Nigeria, doesn’t want that anyway: “I see Germany as my home.”