Barcelona would be signing “Ivan Rakitic with even more power and a better header” in Leon Goretzka, according to Schalke defender Coke.
Coke knows Goretzka well, having spent the past year playing alongside the midfielder at Schalke, and the former Sevilla right-back explained why Barca could not afford to miss out on the Germany starlet, whose contract expires next summer.
“He can play in any midfield position,” he told Mundo Deportivo.
“However, if he plays as a pivot, it’s better that he does in a two, with a more defensive player by his side, because he likes to go forward a lot.
“The position that suits him best is that of a central midfielder because of his sheer attacking ability and great power and positioning.
“Goretzka’s what is now called a box-to-box midfielder, a player that can go from one box to the other several times during a game because of his sheer power.
“He’s physically gifted and because of his clear attacking ability, his football always manages to support the forwards.
“Goretzka isn’t as silky as Andrés Iniesta, but he has enough technique to break pressure lines, especially thanks to his sheer power.
“When he gets the ball and starts running, it’s very difficult to stop him. He’s a good passer and, given that he’s so young, he has room for improvement.
“For me, Goretzka seems a lot like Rakitic, whom I know well because I played with him at Sevilla.
“Ivan positions himself well, has good feet to pass and shoot, and he’s good defensively. He sacrifices himself a lot.
“I can say the same about Goretzka, but with even more power and a better header. Leon’s best traits are his power and shots from distance.
“It’s hard to shoot from outside the box in Spain, but in Germany, on the other hand, you try lots of them.
“He tries them often because he has a very good shot, with a lot of power and good direction.
“Although he’s very young, Goretzka is already one of Schalke’s leaders. He knows his quality and he feels assured with him on the pitch.
“He asks for the ball without any qualms and when he thinks he has to finish a move off, he does so without any problems.
“That’s helped him gain a sense of assurance, and now he feels important with the German national team, with whom he had a great Confederations Cup.
“Being a starter for his national team is very important for a young player. It’s not because he’s my teammate and I have to talk about him, but the truth is that he’s a very good lad.
“He’s a responsible lad, calm, respectful, and he’s stayed grounded even after succeeding with the Germany team.”