Von Alexander Werner
For long periods so far this season, Florian Kohfeldt has chosen the same two centre backs to start for Werder in most matches. However, as a result of Milos Veljkovic’s injury against FC Bayern München on matchday 13, Sebastian Langkamp has played for the Green-Whites in the final fixtures before Christmas and the winter break. Both players are currently in South Africa with the rest of the Werder squad and they are competing alongside Niklas Moisander for a place in the defence for Friday’s friendly with Bidvest Wits, according to head coach Florian Kohfeldt.
Sebastian Langkamp started ahead of Milos Veljkovic for Werder’s friendly against Kaizer Chiefs but this doesn’t necessarily mean that Langkamp has the edge over his Serbian teammate for a starting place. Werder sporting director Frank Baumann recognises the open competition for a place in the starting XI and believes this is a positive thing. “It is good when other players, who previously were not regularly starting such as Sebastian Langkamp, are able to close the gap and compete. This shows the quality we possess in our squad. There was never a reason to make an alteration in central defence but Basti has performed very well recently,” explained Baumann.
Sebastian Langkamp impressed in the weeks leading up to the Bundesliga winter break, especially the composure he shows when in possession. Additionally, he can help build up a Werder attack by unlocking a midfielder with an accurate pass. Before he suffered an unfortunate injury against Bayern, Milos Veljkovic also impressed and showed what he can bring to the Green-Whites defence. He has only given away seven fouls this season and provided an aerial threat alongside Niklas Moisander. Deciding who will play could be the ideal situation for Florian Kohfeldt, who has a similar opinion on the situation to sporting director Baumann. “Of course it is an exciting battle for a starting place and this will only help us in the forthcoming weeks.”