Retraining is followed by professional debut. 20-year-old talent shakes up FC Bayern
September 28, 2023, 3:43 p.m
In FC Bayern’s regional league team, Frans Krätzig has been moved from central midfield to the position of full-back. It’s paying off, the 20-year-old is currently a permanent member of the record champions’ professional squad. Coach Thomas Tuchel is enthusiastic about the talent.
Thomas Tuchel, said Frans Krätzig, should know. “I think,” said the cheeky youngster with a grin about his coach at FC Bayern, “he has a bit of experience.” And based on his expertise, Tuchel had predicted: Yes, “something will happen” with the young Frans Krätzig and top-class football. The 20-year-old is benefiting from the personnel shortage at the German record champions and is increasingly coming to the fore. “A good boy, super clear, very modest and wide awake,” said Tuchel enthusiastically about the Nuremberg native. Krätzig came from 1. FCN in 2017 at the age of 14 and was one of the first talents to move to the new campus in the north of Munich.
But he has long since outgrown the youth department. In the summer he moved into a shared apartment with his best friend Luca Denk, who, like goalkeeper Johannes Schenk and Gabriel Marusic, moved with him from Nuremberg to the Isar – and started with the professionals. On the Asian tour, the blonde boy scored with a brilliant volley to win 4-3 against Jürgen Klopp’s great Liverpool FC.
Krätzig is technically strong, agile and confident on the ball, and has a good eye. But his career was by no means a steep upward trajectory. In the U19 he was out for seven months due to pubic bone and groin problems. “That’s when I got to know myself better,” he said. He was also sometimes underestimated because of his height (1.71 meters).
Goretzka praises the “clever head” Krätzig
Things really took off when he was retrained from a central midfielder to a left-back in the regional league team in the winter. Krätzig also made his Bundesliga debut in this position last weekend against Bochum (7-0). He was part of Tuchel’s squad in all competitive games of the season, and in the cup in Münster (4-0) he scored his first competitive goal on Tuesday – against, of all people, his friend Schenk.
“I let him in on purpose,” joked the goalkeeper, loaned to Prussia from Bayern, in a humorous double interview on Sky. Krätzig had to smile because he didn’t even know the “centre forward instinct” about himself.
The down-to-earth Franconian can hardly surprise those around him anymore. Leon Goretzka praised him as a “clever head” and “intelligent in the game”, while sports director Christoph Freund raved about his “extreme joy in playing”. Where does all this lead him? He looks “from day to day,” said Krätzig calmly. Otherwise he can trust Tuchel’s experience.
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