Leverkusen (AP) – For Rudi Völler he has an “excellent total package”, for Joachim Löw he is a “total professional” and Peter Bosz even sees “absolute parallels” with Liverpool’s world-class defender Virgil van Dijk.
Almost all football celebrities believe that Jonathan Tah has a great career, but the 24-year-old is currently going through another difficult phase.
At his club Bayer Leverkusen he was even less popular than with the national team. Because while national coach Löw stubbornly holds on to the defender, instead of bringing back Mats Hummels or Jérôme Boateng as requested by large sections of the public, Tah almost exclusively sat outside at Bayer. He completed a total of 57 Bundesliga minutes in the first eight days.
Tah has been one of the greatest German defense promises for years, as is now shown in the three-part DAZN documentary “Jona 99 – More Being Than Apparent”. There they are all raving about the reflected pattern professional. “I appreciate his perception and eagerness to learn,” said Löw, for example: “He’s a player who tunes everything together to get better. He’s a total professional, a very positive guy. And he has very good defenders. Skills. That’s why he is. he has always been an important part of our team in recent years. ‘
And even if Tah isn’t an unconditional regular under him, it can be said that Low will not bring back Boateng and Hummels through him. Because if he did, Tah would fall behind the EM squad in 2021. At the last European Championship in 2016 he was already there as a 20-year-old, but he remained without obligation. At the 2018 World Cup, he was removed from the expanded line-up shortly before the tournament.
In his 24 years, Tah has gone through a surprising number of ups and downs. This was the case with Hamburger SV, where he once shot his way to the Bundesliga and was then pushed back to the U19. “I noticed early on how quickly you can get up, but also fall. But you grow even more with setbacks”, he says in the DAZN documentary: “If you say at the end that I don’t see it as a setback, but as an experience, then you can go all the way up. ”And the goal is no less. “I am convinced that if I get my 100 percent, many will say it has reached world-class levels.”
He first needs a permanent place in the club. And there too Tah sees how fast things can go in (football) life. Because in Leverkusen his two competitors Sven Bender and Edmond Tapsoba fell out at the same time. And suddenly, Tah led the squad in the Europa League against Hapoel Be’er Sheva as captain on the field. Suddenly, he played five times in a row and improved his position significantly. “Jona is doing very well at the moment,” says Bosz. It is therefore not automatic that Tah has to stand in line after the definitive return of Bender and Tapsoba. “We will see what comes later,” says Bosz.
The Dutchman is actually a fan of Tah too. “Because he understands that criticism means that we want to help him,” said the coach: “Jonah is always listening. If he brings his qualities into every game, he is a top player. Then few of the team will play against him.” He sees parallels with van Dijk, 2019 “European Footballer of the Year” and second in the election for world footballer, not only because of the playing style. But also because Van Dijk was initially assumed to be insufficiently aggressive. “But it has developed”, says Bosz: “And I’m sure Jonah can do it too.”