Speaking to bundesliga.com, Jürgen Klinsmann said he was "optimistic" that Thomas Müller - alongside Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng - could return to the Germany set-up in time for UEFA Euro 2020, whilst also reserving special praise for the job Pellegrino Matarazzo is doing at his former club, VfB Stuttgart.
But the three have thrived at club level in the time since, with Müller and Boateng playing key roles across the last season and a half as Bayern claimed an historic sextuple, adding a FIFA World Cup crown to the UEFA Champions League they lifted last August.
“At the end of the day, it’s down to performance," Klinsmann told a roundtable of journalists on Friday. "It’s down to what you’re doing with your club teams and then [Löw] has the responsibility to build the strongest roster possible on the technical, soccer side of things but also the human side of things,” said Klinsmann.
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“I’m very optimistic that Joachim definitely will choose the players - and maybe with Thomas Müller, maybe with Mats Hummels - that he thinks are going to take us to the final of the European Championship.”
Whilst Hummels left Bayern to return to Borussia Dortmund in 2019, Müller and Boateng could be joined by a number of current Bayern players in the Germany set-up, with Manuel Neuer, Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Niklas Süle all still regulars for Die Mannschaft.
“Throughout the past we always knew players coming in from the same club that already kind of have a sort of blind understanding on the field, that is very helpful for the national team because they bring that understanding in there and you don’t have to build it any more because as a national team coach you don’t have the time to work on these," Klinsmann continued,
“Kimmich and Goretzka know already exactly how to switch positions and help each other out, [the same] if it’s a Gnabry or Sane. We had generations of many players coming from the same club, so Joachim knows that. I’m actually very positive about the possibility for Thomas and for Mats coming back, but [Löw] makes that decision and he makes that call.”
A World and European champions with Germany as well as a Bundesliga winner in 1996/97 with Bayern, Klinsmann initially came to prominence in the colours of VfB Stuttgart, who are now thriving under American coach Pellegrino Matarazzo.
And Klinsmann, who also coached the USMNT for five years and resides in Los Angeles, is a fan of Matarazzo’s and says his old club should be capable of competing for European places next season under their New Jersey-born tactician.
“I think Pellegrino is doing an awesome job there and they look stable right now,” he said. “It’s fairly young players that they’re feeding into this roster over the last two years that seem to have found their place and hopefully by stabilising everything this season and finishing it somewhere in the mid-table, they will get the squad so strong that they even go and aim for a European spot down the road.
“This would be fantastic because the environment there is very ambitious, the expectations in Stuttgart are at least for European football - that’s what they would like to see. The stadium, the facilities, everything is fantastic - it’s top-class level.”
As well as the US national team, Klinsmann has also coached Germany, Bayern and, most recently, Hertha Berlin. He hasn't ruled out another stint in coaching should the right offer come along.
“Eventually, sooner or later, I will go back into management because that’s where I feel challenged, I feel you get to prove a point in what you’re doing,” the 56-year-old added. “It will happen again, that there’s another opportunity out there that I take on.”
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