By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Di Salvo calls up replacement quartet for youth team

Two COVID infections and two injuries meant that Germany U21 head-coach Antonio di Salvo had to nominate a fresh quartet for his squad on Monday. 

Marton Dardai (Hertha BSC), Shinta Appelkamp (Fortuna Düsseldorf), Faride Alidou (Hamburger SV), and Vincent Müller (PSV Eindhoven) will now join up with the squad ahead of European Championship qualifying in the international break.
Hard-luck COVID infections forced VfL Bochum professionals Patrick Osterhage and Armel Bella-Kotchap to withdraw from the Germany U21 squad scheduled to face Latvia and Israel in UEFA 2023 U21 European Qualification matches during the international break. Two other footballers from the initial squad, Malik Thiaw (Schalke 04) and Reda Khedra (Blackburn Rovers), will be unable to partake due to injury.

For Osterhage and Khadra the timing is particularly bitter. Both were seeking their first cap at the country's highest youth level.

Germany U21 head-coach Antonio di Salvo called up four back-ups to take the place of the missing quartet. Hertha defender Marton Dardai, PSV Eindhoven keeper Vincent Müller, HSV striker (linked heavily with Eintracht Frankfurt) Faride Alidou, and Fortuna Düsseldorf striker Shinta Appelkamp are the replacements. All except Appelkamp are still awaiting their first cap at this level.

There may further changes to come on a squad that di Salvo described as "strewn with question marks". It is still not known whether Kevin Schade (SC Freiburg), Angelo Stiller (TSG Hoffenheim), Frederik Jäkel (KV Ostende), Malik Tillman (Bayern München), Luca Netz (Gladbach), and Louis Jordan Beyer (Gladbach) will be available. All players are carrying potential injuries.

Di Salvo called up four new players for now even though he's dealing with five absences. Hoffenheim keeper Luca Philipp is also a scratch with COVID, hence the nomination of Müller.

"The last few days have been intense," di Salvo noted in recent remarks to the press, "because calls from clubs and players have been coming in almost by the minute."

"There are question marks, but we'll concentrate fully on the team and players who are present," he added, "That's what I told the team today as well."

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