Luca Waldschmidt scored seven goals in four games for Germany at the 2019 UEFA European U21 Championship and has since made three appearances for the senior team. Is the Freiburg striker about to become a household name?
bundesliga.com takes a closer look at one of Germany’s up-and-coming goalscorers…
Country: Germany (3 caps)
A product of the Eintracht Frankfurt academy, Waldschmidt’s youth career was filled with goals. His first season at U17 level saw him net 18 in 22 games, followed by 12 in 18 the following year. Stepping up to U19s he struck 14 times across 19 appearances, earning himself a promotion to the first team.
Life with the senior side, however, proved a big step up. Waldschmidt managed just a solitary DFB Cup goal in 17 first-team matches. Goals remained at a premium following his move to Hamburg in 2016, scoring just twice in 35 league games. Yet his first earned him legendary status at HSV, netting an 88th-minute winner just seconds after coming onto the pitch on the final day of the 2016/17 season against Wolfsburg. It saw Hamburg leapfrog their opponents into safety and avoid a third consecutive relegation play-off.
Watch: Waldschmidt, Germany's next great striker?
Things began to properly click into gear with his 2018 transfer to Freiburg. He netted nine goals and provided an assist in 30 Bundesliga appearances as his new club secured a comfortable mid-table finish. That was partly down to the 5’11’’ forward, who suffered just one defeat in the nine games where he found the back of the net. His goals in fact earned Freiburg an additional six points.
Plays a bit like: Lukas Podolski
Whether in or out of German football, only one player comes to mind when you think of a player with a thunderbolt of a left foot. Waldschmidt's similarities with the former Cologne, Bayern Munich and Arsenal forward go beyond their ability from long range. Due to his low centre of gravity and ability on the ball, the Freiburg forward is often seen dropping deep to pick up the ball away from the opposition defence. Much like Podolski, he has the talent to either pick out a pass or run forward alone, depending on the situation. And who knows, maybe Waldschmidt will be celebrating a FIFA World Cup title in his career one day, just as 'Poldi' did.
Did you know?
Waldschmidt’s performances in Italy didn't go unnoticed by the locals, dubbing the Freiburg man 'il bomber' in reference to former Bayern Munich and Germany great Gerd Müller, who was nicknamed 'Der Bomber' for always hitting the target.
What they’re saying
“Luca can play. He has good movement, good passing and is versatile.” – Freiburg coach Christian Streich
“I don’t know exactly [why we work so well together]. I think we understand each other very well off the pitch as well. We’re good buddies and it goes without saying that we have each other’s back. It’s cool that you can see this from the outside as well.” - Germany U21 teammate Marco Richter