Klose: Germany have answers for their striker problem
World Cup all-time top-scorer says there's enough talent to replace him
Germany have finally found solutions to their No. 9 problem, said former Die Mannschaft and Bayern Munich striker Miroslav Klose.
Here for the FC Bayern International Fanclub Tournament at the Padang yesterday, the 39-year-old told The New Paper: "We have fantastic players in this position. We have some players who have certain skills but maybe are not at their fullest potential yet.
"Mario Gomez has reached his peak now.
"He is someone the younger players should be looking up to and trying to reach his level.
"And then we have Sandro Wagner, Max Kruse and younger strikers like Timo Werner.
"There're going to be times when there will be a lack of stars in a position. Philipp Lahm has retired so we have a problem now at right back.
"There're going to be mini-slumps every now and then, but we will be doing great in the future because we have so many young talents coming through, which we see at Under-19 and Under-21 level, so we will be fine."
Klose, who has 71 goals from 137 caps, was one of the best strikers produced by Germany.
Following his international retirement after winning the 2014 World Cup, Die Mannschaft have struggled to find a No. 9 of his calibre.
Instead, they have relied on a system of false No. 9, with an embarrassment of riches in the attacking midfielder's department.
The false No. 9 system paid off handsomely at the 2014 World Cup final, in which Mario Goetze netted an extra-time winner against Argentina.
Surprisingly, Klose, who was one of Germany boss Joachim Loew's assistant coaches in this year's victorious Confederations Cup campaign, feels they need to tweak the strategy.
He said: "We still have Thomas Mueller and Lars Stindl, who is a phenomenal player in my opinion.
"But we are trying to get away from the false No. 9s a little bit because we need one striker in the box who is there all the time to win headers and take the ball.
"I don't think it's a problem at all now because Joachim Loew has over 40 players in his rotation.
"We need that fighting spirit, and players not to be relaxed in their positions, so it is also important for the younger players to challenge them."
Despite predictions that this German team can dominate for years, Klose is not complacent about their World Cup defence in Russia next year.
"You never know. We are just trying to be healthy and have as many players available for Russia as possible," said the World Cup's all-time top scorer with 16 goals, who still looks in good shape as he bulged the net at will for his all-star team against the various fan clubs yesterday.
"We have to take it game by game and get out of the group stage.
"There will be so many good teams in the knockout rounds, you can't really plan on reaching the final.
"The usual suspects, other than Germany, are Brazil, Argentina, Spain, France and Portugal.
"But there could also be surprises when some are knocked out in the group stages, so we will have to wait and see."
Klose's pragmatic mindset also extends to his fledgling coaching career, after he hung up his boots last year following a five-season stint with Lazio.
When asked if he harbours ambitions to manage Germany one day, he said: "It's a fantastic and unbelievable feeling for me to work with the younger players after getting my (coaching)licence.
"Trying to help them get better has been a great experience for me.
"We'll see where my coaching career will take me. I can't predict right now.
"With my name, it might be better for me to start with a little bit smaller environment.
"I've always relied on setting small goals and taking it step by step."