A debut as a promise for the future

A debut as a promise for the future

Since Tuesday evening Yannick Gerhardt is German national player. "I think I'm the happiest person on this planet right now," the VfL Wolfsburg pro also made no secret of his feelings after the 0-0 draw with Italy at Milan's venerable Giuseppe Meazza Stadium. Valerien Ismael played a large part in the 22-year-old's debut in the senior squad – and the VfL coach sees Gerhardt's debut as a great promise for the future.

Because the ex-Cologne player played for Joachim Low as a left defender. In Wolfsburg, he had previously always done his work in defensive midfield, only Ismael changed that. "Yannick," says the Frenchman, "feels more comfortable coming from deep. He's very comfortable in this position, where he can develop all his dynamism."With the change, Ismael has set a lot of things in motion. At VfL, Gerhardt played so strongly on the left that Low nominated him. In the 8-0 win over San Marino, the Wolfsburg native had to watch 90 minutes before making his debut in the classic against Italy – and in between he even met Pope Francis in Rome. It goes blow after blow with Gerhardt.

He has played for almost all of the DFB's U-teams. But the senior national team is something else. Gerhardt got to feel that in Milan. "That will always be a memory for me. I could hardly believe that I get to play, also the atmosphere was very special. I'm over the moon," gushes the young pro when talking about his magical night in Milan. And: he took his chance. Although he had a few wobbles in the second half, overall there were high marks for the performance of the Wolfsburg player, who thus became only the 16. German senior international in the history of VfL is. Low also expressed his satisfaction afterwards, saying the national coach was looking for a good back-up for Jonas Hector, who was actually seeded at left back. He found it in Gerhardt.

But not a few trust the 22-year-old to take on a bigger role in the future. One of them is Ismael. "It's up to him to confirm this performance at this level," explains the Wolfsburg coach, who praises the tactical training of his protege. "Yannick can play in many positions," says Ismael. Left back, left forward, six, even center back – versatility is one of the strengths of the new international, who is expected to rejoin VfL's training today. But he won't have much time to recover after the exciting trip with Jogi's boys, with Schalke 04 visiting on Saturday. It goes on blow by blow for Gerhardt.