Tuesday, December 5, 2023
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“A mistake”: Neuendorf comments on Adeyemi’s decision not to play for the U-21s

Karim Adeyemi has foregone the international matches with the U-21 team, which DFB president Bernd Neuendorf considers “a mistake” and “perhaps a bit of a missed opportunity”

The current Bundesliga season is not yet Karim Adeyemi’s season. The 21-year-old Borussia Dortmund attacker has been substituted six times and three times in his nine league appearances – most recently at the break in the 2-1 defeat in Stuttgart. In total, he has just one direct assist to his name – and no goals.

For the Munich man, who joined from RB Salzburg in the summer of 2022, this is a clear difference to his first season in BVB kit, where he scored six goals and provided five assists in 24 games in the German top flight, plus two goals in the Champions League.

“It doesn’t help the team if someone plays half-heartedly “

At the end of the day, the four-time senior international (one goal) was not called up by national coach Julian Nagelsmann for the international matches against Turkey and in Austria. However, U-21 national team coach Antonio Di Salvo has called him up for the clashes with Estonia this Friday (4:1) and with Poland. However, Adeyemi turned down this invitation

Coach Di Salvo’s comment on “Sky”: “Now it was just that Karim made this decision because he hopes to get more playing time by staying in BVB training.”

Bernd Neuendorf didn’t stop there, however; the DFB president criticized the Dortmund player’s behaviour on Friday evening during the half-time break of the U-21 victory over Estonia on “ProSiebenMaxx”: “I think it was a mistake.” But “there’s no point in forcing someone to come here. It doesn’t help the team if someone plays half-heartedly. “

From Neuendorf’s point of view, Adeyemi’s omission is a missed opportunity to recommend himself for higher tasks via the youth team – for example in terms of next year’s home European Championships under national coach Nagelsmann, who has not yet nominated Adeyemi. The U21s have “always been a springboard”, continued the DFB president, citing Leipzig full-back David Raum and Bayer Leverkusen figurehead Florian Wirtz as examples of the recent past, both of whom are in Nagelsmann’s squad for the games against Turkey in Berlin on Saturday and against Austria in Vienna three days later.

“I believe that you should be proud to wear the eagle on your chest,” said Neuendorf. The fact that Adeyemi is not involved is “perhaps a bit of a missed opportunity, I regret that.” The 62-year-old concluded by saying that “the coaches will have to decide on any consequences”. However, his non-participation was “a sign of how important he takes it. If he thinks he doesn’t want to play here, you can’t force him. It has to be with conviction, with heart and soul. “



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