Scouting Report: Is Freiburg's Matthias Ginter Manchester United Material?

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentMarch 3, 2014

Freiburg's Matthias Ginter celebrates his side's opening goal during a round of 16 German soccer cup match between SC Freiburg and Bayer Leverkusen in Freiburg, Germany, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
Michael Probst/Associated Press

Manchester United are monitoring Freiburg centre-back/defensive midfielder Matthias Ginter, per David McDonnell at the Mirror, so here is a scouting report on the 20-year-old German. 


Ginter is a 6'2", 187-pound centre-back, per Bundesliga.com, who has the prototypical body and build suited to the Premier League. 

His refined playing style stands him in good stead moving forward. 

He is confident in possession, averaging 52.6 passes per game and completing 85.5 percent of his passes, four percent higher than Borussia Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels (81.5). 

Ginter's long-pass completion percentage (74.6) is also more accurate than Hummels (64.6).

Ginter's big frame, his know-how of creating space, controlling the tempo of play combined with influential midfielder Julian Schuster being sidelined with injury, led Freiburg manager Christian Streich to play Ginter further upfield. 

Source: Kicker

In 28 combined Bundesliga/UEFA Europa League games this season, Ginter has started in midfield 11 times (39.3 percent), but his future is at centre-back, especially with the return of Schuster. 

Ginter comes across as an unflappable footballer, which explains why he has only accumulated a solitary yellow card in this Bundesliga campaign.

He does not give away cheap free-kicks, which is why he averages 0.3 and 0.2 fouls per game in Bundesliga and Europa League play, respectively.

Source: WhoScored.com

All of these positive traits are why Ginter is an outside chance of making Germany's 2014 FIFA World Cup squad having received a call-up to Joachim Low's side. 

"I found out from Joachim Low when he called our hotel last night, and our head coach Christian Streich then confirmed it later," Ginter said, per Bundesliga.com. "It's a great thing for me, for him [Streich] and for SC Freiburg."


Ginter has frequently struggled when finding himself in man-to-man situations. 

In a 3-1 defeat to Stuttgart, he was dragged out of position to right-back and was in two minds when Stuttgart central midfielder Christian Gentner went to cross: Close him down or try to block the shot?

Ginter did neither, and Gentner's cross found Vedad Ibisevic, who got in front of Freiburg left-back Christian Gunter, to glance the ball over Freiburg goalkeeper Oliver Baumann.

Source: Bundesliga.com

Again, when Ginter was outside of his zone when forced to temporarily cover at right-back, he was exposed.

In a one-on-one matchup against Stuttgart left attacking midfielder Timo Werner, Ginter pulled out of his tackle and raised his hands to indicate to the referee that he made no contact while Werner accelerated into Freiburg's penalty box and poked the ball past Baumann.

Source: Bundesliga.com

During Freiburg's 1-1 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt, Ginter's initial thought was to tackle Vaclav Kadlec, only to halt mid-stride.

Ginter tripped over himself as Kadlec cut in, raced through on goal and ended up being denied by Baumann.

Source: Bundesliga.com

Another example of Ginter's indecisiveness was illustrated in a 2-0 defeat to Mainz.

He thought about charging out to intercept the ball from Mainz midfielder Ja Cheol Koo, but he backed off.

Ja cut in and curled a left-footed shot past Baumann.

Source: Bundesliga.com


With the planned departure of Nemanja Vidic, per BBC Sport, and an impasse on Rio Ferdinand's contract renewal, per the Guardian, you can understand why United are keeping an eye on Ginter. 

Considering the amount of times he has been caught out of position, he is not going to be United's saviour at the back next season, but he has the upside to transition into a world-class centre-back several seasons from now. 

If Freiburg are relegated this season, he could be sold at a reduced fee, which would make him a must-buy prospect for all major European clubs. 


Ginter has the physical tangibles and the technique to succeed in the Premier League. However, based on his performances thus far, he would be a long-term project for United. 



Statistics via WhoScored


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