After Juan Bernat suffered an ACL injury in September, many thought that Layvin Kurzawa would hold down the left-back position until the Spain international returned. The 28-year-old recently extended his contract and claimed the backup role on the depth chart, so he was the obvious choice to get the first crack with Bernat out.
However, much like Kurzawa has done in the past, he’s losing his starting position to someone else. 20-year-old Mitch Bakker seems to be getting regular starts at left-back, leaping over the veteran Kurzawa. At a much-needed win at Old Trafford against Manchester United FC, Bakker got the start and performed well, considering he led the squad in tackles.
Bakker spoke to CBS Sports’ Jonathan Johnson on various topics, with one of them being his first Champions League start last week versus RB Leipzig.
“It was new for me,” Bakker said. “It was my first appearance from the start of a match. It was quite special for me; it was new, and I liked it very much. It was a big game for us, important and we won it. I feel that I played ok but that I can also do better. Leipzig are a good team, and they made things difficult for us, but I think that the most important thing was to win.”
The Netherlands international then discussed the quality of the squad and how expectations should be high for the.
“We have to, I think, with the quality that we have,” Bakker said. “This is a big club with a quality team. Of course, we have to do the same as last season.”
Finally, he mentioned that it’s a goal of his to play for the Netherlands National Team, and if he continues this form, he might receive a call for UEFA Euro 2020.
“Absolutely, I want to play for the ‘big Oranje,’ that is for sure,” Bakker said. “I am playing with the under-23 side right now. I want to go up to the senior team, and I hope that something like that might happen next year.”
How is it to play with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe?@Jon_LeGossip spoke with PSG's left-back Mitchel Bakker 👀
— Champions League on CBS Sports (@UCLonCBSSports) December 2, 2020
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