Werder Bremen’s start to the new season has been steady, if not overly exciting thus far. The 4-1 opening day loss to Hertha has been compensated for with wins over Schalke and Arminia Bielefeld while consecutive 1-1 draws followed against Freiburg and Hoffenheim. Eight points on the board, but the strikers as yet have not hit the headlines. Could a youngster from the club’s own ranks be about to stake a claim in the first team?
Niclas Füllkrug has four goals (he scored a hat trick versus Schalke), but will be out for the foreseeable future with a calf injury. Looking elsewhere only Davie Selke has found the back of the net this season (on matchday 1) while Josh Sargent, Yuya Osako and Tahith Chong have all drawn blanks in the opening five weeks.
There could however be a glint of positivity on the Werder horizon with U-23 striker Eren Dinkci impressing with his early season goalscoring form and pushing to be included in the first team squad. The 18-year-old has hit seven goals in eight matches for Werder II in the Regionalliga-Nord this season and has been enjoying the occasions when he has trained with the first team.
“Eren has been on our radar for some time” Kohfeldt has explained. “He is one of the players from the U23’s, with whom we have high hopes that they will advance to the professional squad in the future and play a role there. I don’t want to completely rule out the possibility that he will make it into the squad, but the plans with him are generally more towards playing his role in the U23 this year” the Bremen coach added. “Maybe towards the second half of the season, but by next summer at the latest he can be a very serious alternative for us.”
Patience looks to be the key word with Dinkci, but the longer he keeps banging in the goals for the second team and the longer the first-team strikers keep drawing blanks, the more the clamour for his promotion with rise. Josh Sargent has gone 348 minutes without a goal, Füllkrug and Selke are injured, Osako works hard, but to little end product, and then you have Dinkci almost scoring at will.
The Grün-Weißen have a talent on their hands, but that is something that hasn’t gone unnoticed with a number of clubs reportedly keeping tabs on the youngster. There was talk of interest from Juventus in the summer and fellow Serie A giants Inter are also reportedly tracking his progress. Feyenoord from the Dutch Eredivisie are also linked.
Time will tell if Eren Dinkci is the real deal, but it is not as if Werder Bremen have a big choice of prolific strikers at their disposal is it? Watch this space.