Berlin – He’s a player who can make something out of nothing and turn a game on its head. He’s a player who can thrill both his teammates and fans with his skills. He’s someone who – away from the pitch – is a down-to-earth guy who puts the team first and wants to continue to learn, improve and gain experience. He’s Davie Selke – Hertha BSC searched for a player like him and now they have him.
On the tails of Ronaldo and Neymar
“Our thought process was clear. He’s a young striker who can improve our depth in attack and help the likes of Vedad Ibisevic and Salomon Kalou who the team have been dependent on for goals in recent years,” explained Michael Preetz. Hertha BSC got exactly that in summer when they officially signed Davie Selke. The 22-year-old has shown that he can be more than a squad player. His stats are already impressive as he’s scored four goals in ten Bundesliga appearances and, even more remarkably, he’s netted four times in three games in the UEFA Europa League. That means he’s already levelled the number of goals scored for his previous club RB Leipzig last season. In terms of goals in European competition, Davie is challenging the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar as his 1.33 goals per game in the group stages of European competition puts him second behind Ronaldo on 1.5 in first but ahead of the likes of Tottenham’s Harry Kane (1.2) and PSG’s Neymar (1).
However, it wasn’t so clear from the offset that Davie would be performing on a par with such global superstars as he was forced to miss the start of the season through injury. Pal Dardai continued to ask for patience with his return and continually emphasised the potential Davie possesses. However, for the new recruit, the waiting was anything but easy. “I’m not a patient person at all. The timing of the injury was so frustrating,” said the former Germany U21 international. Now he’s part of the setup whether that be as a strike partner to Ibisevic or just in front of Kalou.
Patience and faith
“With Davie, both us and the fans had to be patient because of his injury. In the past few weeks, this patience has paid off,” added a happy Preetz. For the striker himself, the key reason why he’s been performing so well of late is one thing: trust. “I’m the kind of guy who needs to feel like the people around me have faith in me. Pal Dardai made me feel that way from the off and that’s why I decided to join this club,” told the forward. “I’m very proud to be at Hertha BSC. The faith people have in me means so much”, emphasised the 22-year-old who won the U21 European Championships with Germany alongside Niklas Stark and Mitchell Weiser.
The head coach is also very pleased with the progress Hertha’s number 27 has made: “He’s repaid the trust which we’ve put in him. He’s been at the right place at the right time and his goals have really helped us,” reflected Pal Dardai after the 3-2 win away at Selke’s former club RB Leipzig. In that game, the young prodigy illustrated various sides to his game: his danger in front of goal, his clinical finishing and his desire. The head coach believes there’s still more to come from the young striker in the second half of the season: “He needs a full pre-season then he’ll get even better.” Before Selke and Hertha get underway once again, Hertha are getting their breath back. “It’s been a topsy-turvy few months for me. The transfer followed by the injury but we’re heading into the winter break on a high. I’m happy to have some time with my family and to wind down,” concluded Selke.