These days, Dodi Lukebakio is particularly in focus at Hertha BSC. Due to the Cordoba sale and the Selke failure, he had to play as a center forward in the test. His coach didn’t like the performance at all – Pal Dardai chose a clear speech.
Dodi Lukebakio’s third season at Hertha BSC starts with the coming season – should the attacker not be surrendered. Lukebakio has the right to be part of the important permanent staff again after he had to suspend several games in the last league final spurt due to his Covid infection and a yellow card suspension.
He must now take this step under the watchful eyes of Pal Dardai. Under him he has already played about a dozen games in the second half of the season, but now he has to prove himself again and assert himself.
He is in the spotlight these days: Jhon Cordoba’s departure to Krasnodar and the temporary retirement of Davie Selke ensured that the spotlight was on him in the friendly against Lübeck (1: 1). The result became clear – his coach was by no means satisfied with him.
“He said to me that he is a center forward. That is why we are now trying to use him there. But if a cross comes from the right and the center forward is not there, then he has problems,” said Dardai pissed off (quotes via picture). The Hungarian was particularly dissatisfied with the Belgian’s positional play.
“A center forward belongs in the box. He has to be smart, behead and score goals. He didn’t do that,” said the coach. The fact that he had prepared Suat Serdar’s Berlin goal well earned him some praise. But overall, the criticism from Dardai was very clear and harsh: “It’s great that he was involved. But when it comes to pressing and starting behavior, we have to develop him and work a lot on it.”
There are signs of a problem that the 23-year-old already had under previous coaches. Another reason why the fast offensive player has played most of his 63 competitive appearances for Hertha as a right winger – and not as a center forward, even if he likes to see himself that way.
Lukebakio now has to address the points of criticism raised by the coach as quickly as possible. On the one hand, because the capital city club should need it. On the other hand, because he finally has to convince himself and become indispensable for his team.
The BSC paid a whopping 20 million euros to Watford FC in the summer of 2019. A few months later his (from transfermarkt estimated) market value peaked at 21 million euros. At the beginning of June it was only 13 million euros. Currently, a temporary (loan) change to Lille is also in the room.