Joachim Löw has named his squad for Germany’s upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Norway.
17 members of the squad that won the FIFA Confederations Cup have been retained with several senior players rested for that tournament recalled, although a few big names have been left out due to a lack of form or fitness.
Serge Gnabry is also recalled to the senior side, but he is the only member of the under-21 squad that won the UEFA European Under-21 Championships in Poland to be included.
Six senior players recalled whilst others miss out through injury
Löw left most of his first choice team out of the squad for the tournament in Russia in order to give them a proper rest ahead of next year’s World Cup in the same country.
Six of those – Mats Hummels, Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos, Mesut Özil, Thomas Müller and Mario Gómez – are back in the squad as Die Mannschaft look to close in on sealing a return to Russia next summer. They will confirm their qualification if they win both matches, and Northern Ireland, second in Group C, fail to win either of theirs.
Several others have been left out though, including Benedikt Höwedes, who looks set to leave Schalke 04 for Juventus after being surprisingly stripped of the captaincy there. Bayern Munich pair Manuel Neuer and Jérôme Boateng are amongst a number who miss out through injury, as is André Schürrle, whilst his Borussia Dortmund teammate Mario Götze is still too early into his recovery from a metabolic disorder.
Arsenal centre-back Shkodran Mustafi is the most senior of the players who went to the Confederations Cup to be omitted. Like Höwedes, his club future is up in there with reports of serious interest from Inter Milan, despite the 25-year-old only joining the Gunners last year.
Henrichs and Younes more surprising retentions
Meanwhile Leon Goretzka, Lars Stindl and Timo Werner, who were amongst Germany’s star players in the summer, are all included. The inclusion of the latter pair along with Gómez gives Löw three out-and-out forward options, a rarity in recent times.
Other, perhaps more surprising, players to keep their places are Bayer Leverkusen full-back Benjamin Henrichs and AFC Ajax's Amin Younes. Younes played only 19 minutes in Russia, whilst Henrichs started only in the semi-final win against Mexico.
Gnabry, who moved to Bayern in the summer before joining TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on loan, returns to the senior squad for the first time since last November’s matches against San Marino and Italy. He was a key part of the side that won the under-21 competition in Poland, although he only scored one goal, in the opening game against the Czechs.
Germany will play the Czech senior side on Friday 1 September at the Generali Arena in Prague, before hosting Norway at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Stuttgart three days later.
Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Kevin Trapp (Paris Saint-Germain), Marc-André ter Stegen (FC Barcelona).
Defenders: Matthias Ginter (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Jonas Hector (1. FC Köln), Benjamin Henrichs (BayerLeverkusen), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea), Nikas Süle (Bayern Munich).
Midfielders: Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Emre Can (Liverpool), Julian Draxler (Paris Saint-Germain), Serge Gnabry (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim), Leon Goretzka (Schalke 04), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Sebastian Rudy (Bayern Munich), Amin Younes (AFC Ajax).
Forwards: Mario Gómez (VfL Wolfsburg), Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich), Lars Stindl (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig).