Bundestrainer Hansi Flick has broken his silence over the issue of Werder Bremen striker Niclas Füllkrug being a potential late wildcard call-up to his World Cup squad. The German coach was in Sinsheim on Friday to watch the Werder goal-getter and liked what he saw.
“I saw him yesterday. What he’s doing has a lot going for it,” Flick commented to Sky. “He’s having a very good run now and I think he’s doing really well and may bring an element to our team that we don’t have in our current form. We see few players in this position in the Bundesliga who could possibly strengthen us in the 26-man squad.
“He and [Marvin] Ducksch play really well together. Ordinarily, it’s the other way around. Ducksch sets it up, but yesterday he was really good. He’s a candidate.”
Füllkrug set up his strike partner Ducksch for Werder’s first goal at Hoffenheim of Friday and then kept his nerve to score a late penalty to win the game for Werder. He now has eight goals and three assists in the first nine games of the season and is gaining support both from teammates and outside to be included in the World Cup squad.
“Hard work is rewarded and Füllkrug works hard,” Ducksch said of his Werder strike partner. “We saw that already last year, and the same thing is happening now. He’s in a very good shape physically, he’s healthy. His body is holding up well, and right now you can see the quality he has to offer.
“If he carries on like this, you can’t avoid the conversation about taking him to the World Cup.”
These are sentiments echoed by two former German World Cup winners Lothar Matthäus and Bastian Schweinsteiger. “You can see not only the power and the goal threat, but also his understanding of the game. He’s definitely one of the candidates who deserve a call-up” Matthäus told Sky.
“He’s a very, very interesting player. He plays with experience, scores goals and prepares well; he’s fast and has an athletic body” Schweinsteiger added.
The whispers about his inclusion are becoming louder and more people are getting on board with the idea. If the goals keep coming as they are at the moment, Hansi Flick will have a very tough time justifying not taking him to Qatar. Only Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe have scored more goals this season among players in Europe’s top five leagues.