Julian Nagelsmann has discussed his decision to experiment with Arsenal midfielder Kai Havertz in a left-back position during Germany’s 3-2 defeat to Turkey.
Havertz started the friendly loss in an unfamiliar defensive role in Berlin, as Nagelsmann’s home debut as Germany coach ended in defeat.
The 24-year-old opened the scoring in the game after turning in from Leroy Sane’s centre, but later conceded a penalty for the decisive goal after being penalised for a handball inside the area.
Havertz has had a challenging start to the season since joining Arsenal from Chelsea last summer, with the German having scored just once in 12 league appearances.
Having operated in a centre-forward position for much of his time with former club Chelsea, Nagelsmann sprang a surprise by starting Havertz at left-back on international duty, despite having RB Leipzig’s David Raum among his options.
Speaking about the decision, Nagelsmann said he did not see the experiment as a ‘risk’.
“I don’t see this as a risk for him, but as a very, very big opportunity to play a key role at the Euros,” the Germany manager told told SkyDE.
“Kai said he wanted to do it, wanted to try it — for a first time in an unfamiliar position, he did extremely well.”
Nagelsmann’s side face Austria in another friendly on Tuesday, as the three-time European champions continue preparations for Euro 2024, where Germany are the host nation.