Five players are back in the squad after sitting the last international break out. Four youngsters have been called up for the first time.
|Antonio Di Salvo.||Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
RB loanee Fredrik Jäckel--currently plying his trade at KV Oostende in the Jupiler Pro League--technically qualifies as a returnee even though he still awaits his first cap. The 21-year-old was called up once before by previous team trainer Stefan Kuntz.
Four players will get the chance to represent Germany at the highest youth level for the first time. Fullback Simon Asta (SpVgg Greuther Fürth), winger Reda Khadra (Blackburn Rovers), and attacking midfielder Patrick Osterhage (VfL Bochum) could debut in the two qualifying matches against Latvia and Israel next week.
As expected, Lukas Nmecha's younger brother Felix will get a chance to represent Germany after also being cleared to switch allegiances last month.
Di Salvo will unfortunately have to do without two players he might have liked to take along. Freiburg's Yannick Keitel and (heartbreakingly for German football enthusiasts) Dortmund's Youssoufa Moukoko will be unable to participate. Additionally, Freiburg's electric phenom Kevin Schade is also struggling with abdominal muscle problems. The 20-year-old's--still in the squad--may not recover in time to play.
"Our clear objective is to qualify for the European Championship directly as group winners," Di Salvo said in a statement accompanying the team news, "That's why we want to build a lead in the standings during the March internationals."
The German U21s currently top their group, yet are only ahead of Israel on goal-differential after suffering a shock defeat to Poland in November.
Full squad details can be accessed via the link below. Hans Dieter Flick's senior German men's national team squad is due tomorrow. Given that Germany have already qualified for the World Cup, however, it's not certain how many projected first-team starters Flick plans to nominate.
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