1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Lukas Nmecha: Target man for Wolfsburg, Germany

November 6, 2021

Wolfsburg's Lukas Nmecha has been in good form this season, so much so that Germany head coach Hansi Flick has called up the 22-year-old. But what is it that makes Nmecha so special?

Lukas Nmecha celebrates his goal vs. Augsburg
Lukas Nmecha offers something new for Germany's attackImage: Joachim Sielski/imago images

Wolfsburg 1-0 Augsburg, Volkswagen Arena
(Nmecha 14')

Perhaps Lukas Nmecha could have had a better week, but it's hard to see how.

On Tuesday, the 22-year-old striker scored a fantastic goal to earn Wolfsburg their first Champions League win of the season. Three days later, he was called up to Hansi Flick's Germany squad and a day after that his brilliant header gave Wolfsburg another three points in the Bundesliga.

"I wouldn't say I'm extremely accurate," said Nemcha matter-of-factly to ARD after the win against Augsburg. "I had a few chances today and one went in."

Born in Hamburg to a Nigerian father and German mother, Nmecha grew up in England where he joined Manchester City from a young age, and played youth football with Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho.

After promising performances at youth level, Nmecha's loan spells at Preston North End and Middlesborough in England's second-division were supposed to be the springboard for the rest of his career. Instead, fans of both teams would likely be surprised that the 22-year-old is now scoring goals in the Champions League, given the indifferent performances he put on for them.

Ironically, Wolfsburg fans would have said the same given the striker spent six months on loan at the Bundesliga side two years ago. Nmecha was given just 268 minutes to impress though, with then head Oliver Glasner obviously not seeing his value.

Last season, out on another loan at Anderlecht, Nemcha's career changed. Thanks to a 21-goal season, Nmecha reminded Europe and perhaps even himself of his quality. Head coach Vincent Kompany said at the time while Nmecha had weaknesses he was "already quite a complete striker."

Nmecha celebrates with his Germany U21 teammates
Nmecha (far right) scored the winner for Germany in the U21 Euro final this summerImage: Darko Bandic/AP/picture alliance

Back with the pack

Ironically, the efforts of recently departed Wolfsburg head coach Mark van Bommel were a big part of convincing Nmecha to join. He told German sports magazine kicker ahead of the season that van Bommel made a number of phone calls and explained how he wanted Nemcha to be a part of the Wolves.

Fifteen games and six goals later, van Bommel is gone but Nemcha is still flying.

Having swapped over from England's youth teams, where he scored the winner in a U-19 Euros, Nmecha finished top scorer at the U21 Euros for Germany this summer, with a four-goal tally that included the winner in the final again.

At 1m 85cm tall, Nmecha also offers a physical frame that Germany haven't really had in a striker since Mario Gomez. Fast strikers with decent dribbling abilities are often pushed out wide, as has been the case for Nmecha at times during his career, but playing largely as a center forward for Wolfsburg this season has brought the best out of the 22-year-old.

His header against Augsburg reinforced his strength in the air, and although he plays with the physically imposing Wout Weghorst, he has the skill set to lead the line as a lone target man. Even with minutes left against Augsburg, Nmecha's tenacity to chase back and defend the lead is the kind of effort that new Wolfsburg head coach Florian Kohfeldt and Flick will cherish.

"I'm really excited," Nmecha said of his international call up. "It's proof that things can go fast in football."

Next week, Germany play Liechtenstein (in Wolfsburg) and Armenia in their final two games of the year. If Nmecha can make the next seven days just as memorable as the last then he really has given himself the chance of realizing his dream of being a part of Germany's 2022 World Cup squad next winter.

Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

78th UN Vollversammlung Mamadi Doumbouya Guinea
Skip next section More stories from DW
Go to homepage