From acclaimed goal scorer to problem child: Marcus Thuram continues to run behind his form this season. Sporting director Roland Virkus on the key to getting the Frenchman back on track.
In his first two Gladbach years, Thuram delivered reliably. Ten goals and eight assists in the 2019/20 Bundesliga season. Eight goals and seven assists in the 2020/21 season. In the current round, however, the big zero still stands: not a single goal. Not even a goal assist.
A disastrous record for an attacker who recommended himself for the French national team through his strong performances at the Foals and played himself into the focus of Europe’s top clubs. The sticking point in the development is easily identified: It was 21 August 2021. In Leverkusen, in Gladbach’s 4-0 defeat on the second matchday, Thuram tore an inner ligament in his knee. An injury with drastic and long-lasting consequences. Thuram’s move to Inter Milan, which had long been on the cards, fell through at the last minute, leaving the 24-year-old with weeks and months of pain. And the injury break also had a physical effect. Speed, explosiveness, assertiveness in dribbling, scoring goals – Thuram’s deficits in everything that actually makes him an offensive player were and are obvious. Even in his last substitute appearances he remained pale.
Nevertheless, they are counting on Thuram to catch himself and become an important factor in the relegation battle. “Marcus is a sunshine guy. Someone like that needs self-confidence for his game. And self-confidence comes from positive experiences,” says Roland Virkus. Thuram, in the opinion of the sports director “one of the best one-on-one players in the Bundesliga”, is supported wherever possible. “We are doing everything we can to ensure that the boy can play with confidence again. And if we can manage that, he will still become very valuable for us. You need a player like that,” says Virkus. Especially in this precarious situation Gladbach is currently in.