Werder Bremen’s Florian Kohfeldt: Josh Sargent not starting IX contender

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The head coach Werder Bremen Florian Kohfeldt has revealed that USA international Josh Sargent will go into the new Bundesliga season as one of the first names on the teamsheet.

Sargent played an integral role in the club in the 2019/20 Bundesliga season. The forward scored four goals in 28 appearances for the club. His last came on the final day of the regulation season when Bremen thrashed Cologne 6-1. The win moved the club out of the automatic relegation places and into the play-offs.

In the first leg of the playoff, the 20-year-old was a second-half substitute in the goalless against Bundesliga 2 outfit Heidenheim.

Kohfeldt (l.) believes Sargent (r.) is ready to take his budding game to the next level. – imago images / Team 2

He however rewarded the coach’s faith in him to be in the starting line-up for the return fixture. The American produced the assist for the opening goal in a contest that ended 2-2. This helped maintain Werder Bremen’s status in the Bundesliga due to the away-goals rule.

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Josh Sargent continues to impress Florian Kohfeldt at Werder Bremen

Moreover, Sargent continued from where he stopped with top performances. He showed his mettle in recent pre-season friendly wins over Groningen and St. Pauli. This has helped him cement his place in Kohfeldt’s immediate plans.

“Right now, I can’t imagine a starting XI that doesn’t include Josh Sargent. For me, he’s in pole position for the opening weekend of the season,” enthused the Bremen tactician.

There is going to be competition in the frontline of the club. The club’s top scorer, Milot Rashica will expectedly get regular minutes. Sargent could be pairing the Kosovan in attack despite competition from Niclas Füllkrug, Davie Selke, Johannes Eggestein, and Yuya Osako.

Josh Sargent receiving instruction from the coach

“The combination of his strength, physicality, work off the ball, his improved tactical understanding and positional flexibility – it all speaks volumes for him as a player.

“He brings a lot to the table. He can play wide or as the central striker in a 4-3-3, and he can play as a second striker in a 4-4-2. He showed real progress during the end of last season.

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“I just want to say: Josh is no longer the contender,” Kohfeldt added.

Kohfeldt had overseen Sargent’s transition from the IMG Academy in Florida to the Bremen’s first team. The American was impressive in Bremen’s academy where he scored seven goals before making it into the senior team.

He also showed his class by scoring with his first touch on his Bundesliga debut against Fortuna Düsseldorf on 12 December 2018. Since then, the Missouri native has played over 40 first-team matches for Die Grün-Weißen, scoring six goals and creating many assists.

He has also been a regular in the USA national team, scoring five goals in twelve games which included one on his debut against Bolivia.

He will therefore be experiencing his second full season in the 2020/21 Bundesliga. Bremen’s 2020/21 season campaign begins on 12 September with a trip to Carl Zeiss Jena in the DFB Cup first round.

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