Tobias Knost: Who is the former Germany U-18 defender that has been called up by Harambee Stars?

Tobias Knost: Who is the former Germany U-18 defender that has been called up by Harambee Stars?

Mark Kinyanjui 18:00 - 20.05.2024

Who is Tobias Knost? The former Germany-U18 star that has been called up by Harambee Stars.

On Monday, 20th May, Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat announced his squad for the upcoming 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Burundi and Ivory Coast set to take place in Malawi on June 7 and 11th respectively.

While there were surprises in his squad, including the omission of Michael Olunga -who Firat has confirmed will be part of the squad alongside Richard Odada and Daniel Anyembe after all - , there were some notable debutants in the team, with two being foreign-based players who represented super-power footballing nations in their youth. 

One was Adam Wilson, a former Newcastle United winger who played for England at U-18 level, and Tobias Knost, a former Germany U18 player.

But who exactly is Knost? Pulse Sports Kenya brings you up to speed with everything you need to know about him.

Who is Tobias Knost?

Knost is a 24-year-old right back who plays for 3.Bundesliga side SC Verl, the third tier of German football.

Born in Berlin, Knost began his football journey with Tennis Borussia Berlin before joining Hamburger SV in 2014. His potential was quickly recognized, and in November 2017, he signed a professional contract with the club.

Knost made his first-team debut for Hamburger SV on 18 August 2018, in a thrilling 5–3 DFB-Pokal victory over TuS Erndtebrück. 

Despite this promising start, Knost struggled to break into the first team again, making no further appearances for the senior side. However, he did gain some experience playing for the reserve team, with 13 appearances during his tenure at the club.

In the summer of 2021, Knost made a move to 3. Liga side 1. FC Magdeburg. The club announced his signing on 17 June 2021, although they chose not to disclose the details of his contract. After a year at Magdeburg, Knost transitioned to SC Verl on 6 June 2022, seeking more opportunities to showcase his abilities.

Why was he called up by Harambee Stars?

With Anyembe and Daniel Sakari left out of the intital provisional squad, Firat opted to call up Knost, and he will be the other right back in the squad alongside Rooney Onyango, who himself has been played as a right winger more often under the Turk’s tutelage.

Having represented Germany at youth age level, Knost could add tactical understanding and awareness to the team, something Firat is very ideological about ever since taking charge of the side.

Besides, at 24, it is highly unlikely he will ever play for Germany at any level again. 

How does Knost play?

According to Sofascore, Knost is an orthodox right back who bombs up and down the pitch, as his heat map below shows.

In the 16 games he has played in the league this season, he has started seven. Passing and crossing are not his strongholds,  but he naked 4.6 ball recoveries a match, and 2 interceptions per 90.

He has errors about his game, as evidenced by the fact he has made five mistakes leading to shots, so it might not be worth risking him in certain situations.

How could Knost fit the Harambee Stars set up?

Despite being a right back, Knost is also competent at center back, and with key defenders like Joseph Okumu set to be ruled out through injury, and Alfonce Omija the only other natural defender in the squad, he may get called up.

However, Pulse Sports understands Anyembe, Odada and Olunga will be in the squad after all, which means Knost might have to be content with a squad role.

What has been said about Knost?

Knost committed his future to SC Verl by extending his contract with the club. This announcement brought  a positive conclusion to speculation surrounding his expiring contract.

Sporting director Sebastian Lange expressed his enthusiasm about the extension. "Tobi is an absolute team player and has been an important part of our team over the past two years. 

“We look forward to further collaboration," Lange stated, highlighting Knost's value to the squad both on and off the field.”

Follow Pulse Sports X account for more updates.