By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Finkgräfe left off U21 squad at coach's request, Kicker reports

German footballing journalist Jim Decker of Kicker Magazine reports that rising 1. FC Köln talent Max Finkgräfe was in line for a call-up to Antonio di Salvo's Germany U21 squad during the current international break, but was left off at the request of Effzeh trainer Timo Schultz. 
Two 1. FC Köln players - Jan Thielmann and Eric Martel - will be heading to Germany U21 head-coach Antonio di Salvo's camp during the current international break. Kicker Magazine journalist Jim Decker reports that three representatives from Germany's cathedral city side could have earned call-ups from di Salvo, but one was left behind with his club at the request of his head-coach.

Decker claims that 19-year-old left back Max Finkgräfe was on di Salvo's short list as a potential replacement for Gladbach's Luca Netz and Nürnberg's Nathaniel Brown. Effzeh trainer Timo Schultz nevertheless requested that Finkgräfe be allowed to remain with the team as they move club training camp to Spain and continue to gird up for the relegation fight.

Finkgräfe has made 17 top-flight appearances for Köln this season. Since earning his first Bundesliga start against Freiburg on match-day 15, Finkgräfe has started every match since. The Gladbach-native scored his first top-flight goal in match-day 20's 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim. Schultz often moves his versatile weapon forward to the wing late-on in matches.

Köln presently occupy 16th place in the Bundesliga table. The Geißböcke lead the three-team-race to claim the relegation playoff place, sitting two points above relegation rivals FSV Mainz 05 and five points above last-placed SV Darmstadt 98. Schultz apparently considered Finkgräfe's place in the team's training camp as indispensable as the team prepares for a tough finish to the season.

Bundesliga news

Match days

Long reads

Exclusive interviews

Team News

Bundesliga - Leverkusen - Bremen