Round-Up: Going to St. Gallen and out of focus

It has become quiet about one of the most praised talents of Bayern Munich – Gianluca Gaudino. The 20-year-old has been on loan at FC St. Gallen for 1.5 years now, with hardly any recognition by the German media. With the loan coming to an end we spoke to Ralf Streule, who works as an editor for St. Galler Tagblatt, to talk about Gaudino’s development in the Swiss Super League. Author: Maurice • Translator: Luca

Gaudino arrived from Munich with the experience of 10 games played on a professional level, one of them even in the Champions League. Can you describe the expectations FC St. Gallen had at the beginning?

They were pretty high, not only for St. Gallen but further beyond our city and canton. Just have a look at his first press conference, where an incredible number of journalists was present at the time. Certainly it was the name, which caused interests and increased expectations. There was so much advanced praise for a young player and the transfer was celebrated as a brilliant coup, here in our region.

What part did he play in the team? What was his standing like around his teammates?

Considering his technical abilities, it was quite clear in the early stages that Gaudino was one of the best players of FC St. Gallen. He had many appearances at the beginning, with Joe Zinnbauer as the coach. His performances were not as great, maybe because of his groin-injury (Gaudino had surgery in 2016). About his standing: I think that his calm attitude as well as his self-confidence made it easy for him to earn acceptance within the group, but he was never a leader for the club. However, everybody respected his abilities as a footballer. It seems like he is waiting patiently for his chance after his groin-problems. Before that he mostly played as a defensive midfielder. In this position he had quite an impact at the beginning but lost his starting spot to more physical players with the season progressing on forwards.

During his time in Munich, it was obvious that he had outstanding tactical understanding but physical deficits as well. How did you see him based on those impressions in the Swiss League?

That is exactly my impression. The deficits are more or less the same. He shows a lot of determination and commitment but his physicality needs improvement, without a doubt.

Had the chance to learn from the biggest stars. Here with Xabi Alonso.
(Photo: CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

Where do you see the biggest development?

Especially mentally. He takes on the competition within the team but also in the Super League. His mind-set is ideal.

Gaudino has played 31 games for St. Gallen in the Super League. How does the club evaluate the loan deal in the end?

They won’t make use of the option to buy him. The club is in talks with FC Bayern and shows interest to extend the loan deal. He is still seen as a big talent with a bright future. However under the new coach, Giorgio Contini, who likes to play with experienced and physical players, it is likely to be more difficult for him than with Joe Zinnbauer as his coach.

Let’s have a look at the links for this week

Should Gerd Müller Be In The Greatest Of All Time Discussion? | The Stats Zone

After ‘only’ winning the league, the pressure is on Ancelotti and Bayern | Raphael Honigstein | ESPN FC

Philipp Lahm: Germany and Bayern defender the best of his generation | Mark Lovell | ESPN FC

Farewell Philipp Lahm, the man who won it all and left as a champion | Jason Humphreys | Guardian

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm: “I’m looking forward to retirement” | Bundesliga.com

Bayern Munich aiming to improve youth development with new academy | Mark Lovell | ESPN FC

Goals galore in the Bundesliga | Nick Bidwell | World Soccer

Chinese fans support will be huge motivation, says Mueller | Oliver Trust | Xinhua

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