Kevin Volland: German Expert's Scouting Report On Liverpool Target
One of the hottest prospects in world football, Kevin Volland has been rumoured by Daily Mirror as a target for English giants Liverpool as well as a host of other rival clubs. We found German football expert George Stoneman of Deutsch Football to tell us just how good the 21-year-old is.
Hoffenheim’s 13/14 campaign has been extremely hit and miss, yet, there have been numerous shining lights that has lead to the 1899 scoring the third highest amount of goals in the Bundesliga after the hinrunde.
We’re big fans of Volland here at Deutscher Fussball, and like others, we were surprised the youngster hasn’t received a call up for his first full international cap, especially due to the amount of injuries plaguing Germany in the striker department over the past 5 or 6 international games.
Whilst Volland is not an out-and-out centre forward who will lead the line, and instead plays off the right of a forward three, the lack of natural strikers for Germany suggests he should be worthy of his chance to impress Joachim Löw.
As well as this shortage, Volland’s form this season, his second in the Bundesliga, is also more than impressive. With 8 goals in 21 games in all competitions for Hoffenheim, Volland has highlighted his finishing ability, as well as showcasing his versatility by playing as a second striker as well as out on the right wing.
His main aim for the rest of the campaign will be to steer Hoffenheim away from a repeat performance of last season in the league, where they are currently sat just 4 points above the relegation play-off spot that saved them from relegation last season.
Volland will know though, that despite his 8 goals, he will want to be more clinical for a player that is so involved in attacking and in a team like Hoffenheim’s who score on average, 2 goals a game.
After scoring just 6 in 31 last season, but with his 8 already this campaign, he is well on his way to doubling that tally come May, and reaching the same dizzy heights as his final season with previous club 1860 München, where he scored 20 goals in 30 games in Bundesliga. 2
And of course, post May will be his next goal for the year, with a place on the plane to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup a distant ambition of his. Clearly, at just 21, he has plenty of time and probably another 4 World Cups in his career to play in, but Rio is a real possibility for the 21-year-old, and there is no reason as to why he can’t take the rest of the campaign by the scruff of the neck and show Löw what he is really made of and what he can offer him next summer.
But why should he be getting the call up, and why are we such big fans of his?
Well, for a left footed striker, a rare breed, Volland has all the attributes to succeed. Standing at 5ft 10″, he is a good height for a striker and what he lacks in those extra few inches, he makes up for with his build. A stocky player, Volland is strong and won’t get bullied out of a game, but his pace is something he has in reserve if a defender is dominating him and refusing him any room to manoeuvre.
But as we all know, pace alone is not enough, and Volland’s movement and skills make him a nightmare for defenders to mark, and whilst he is not yet a master of movement and finding space for himself, he will develop the skill for it as his game progresses over the coming seasons.
Another trait that needs work, is his decision making. He has the football brain of how to create space and chances for himself, but sometimes tries the spectacular or takes the difficult route to goal when easier options are available. He does also have a tendency to over run the ball and run into trouble, but with the form he has shown this season, it can only be expected that he would try these things.
However, as we have seen with the development of wingers over the last 10 years, there is more of a defensive responsibility to their game, with managers often asking wide players asking to track full backs and help their own full backs out when the team doesn’t have the ball.
And whilst Volland switches off at times, he is 90% of the way there in terms of becoming an all-round winger, with his defensive abilities and all round team play something that is way beyond his tender years.
But back to that left foot of his, it’s wonderful. Power, guile and finesse, all of which a style of finish his left boot owns. Certainly similar to Arsenal’s Lukas Podolski, in that whilst starting his career as a centre forward, his future may well come from playing as a second forward or coming in from the wings, to find his goals and efficiency.
Hoffenheim’s number 31, may not have what it takes to be a striker at the top, top clubs in Europe, but certainly could hold his own in most of the top 6 clubs in each of Europe’s top leagues, and in our eyes is certainly a player to watch out for.
This article originally featured on Deutsch Football.
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