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Bundesliga News

Media reports surface on Flick's selections: Hummels? No. Sané? Yes. Götze? Maybe.

By Peter Vice

The anticipation builds one day before new Bundestrainer Hans-Dieter Flick is due to announce his very first national team squad. 

Journalists Christoph Laskowski and Matthias Dersch of German football magazine Kicker have, at the very least, learned that Mats Hummels' persistent patella problems render him a non-candidate. 

Meanwhile, Germany's "Bild-Zeitung" claims that Leroy Sané will definitely make Flick's roster. 

There is also plenty of good reasoning behind the mounting speculation that Mario Götze actually might get a call-up.

Hansi Flick.
Hansi Flick.

Ahead of three 2022 World Cup Qualification matches next week, the German national team finds itself in an unfamiliar position. Put more precisely, the Nationalmannschaft finds itself in the position of third place in its group.

The historic defeat to North Macedonia during the opening round of qualifying last spring ended a 35-fixture unbeaten-run in World Cup Qualifiers that dated all the way back to a 2001 loss to England. Priority one for new Bundestrainer Hansi Flick will be playing catch up.

Since his appointment as Joachim Löw's successor was confirmed late last may, the former DFB assistant has made certain promises. Perhaps most importantly, the 56-year-old has promised that the entire prolonged saga surrounding once-excluded stars Thomas Müller and Mats Hummels left the building along with Löw.

Flick has repeatedly emphasized that "the best performing players will always be invited". By this, Flick not-so-subtly signals to the German public that he will not publicly declare certain players past their prime and exclude them from his plans as Löw did with Müller, Hummels, and Jerome Boateng towards the end of his tenure.

Irrespective of this, it can be confirmed that Hummels will not be part of Flick's first call-up squad. The BVB central defender, hampered by a patella tendon problems, returned to team training last week and even made a brief appearance as a late sub in his club's 1-2 loss to Freiburg last weekend.

According to reliable sources at German footballing magazine Kicker, however, Hummels' rehabilitation program has been deemed by Flick to be more important than a call-up. Journalists Christoph Laskowski and Matthias Dersch do note that the plan remains to have Hummels join up with the team in October if his rehab proceeds apace.

Germany's main sporting tabloid cites its own sources to claim that Leroy Sané will definitely be on Flick's squad. This is reportedly based on some embedded reporting within the Bayern team. Flick is said to have called Sané directly after he was booed by fans during a rough outing last Sunday, offering encouragement along with a place on the team.

Perhaps the most interesting of Flick's potential selections revolve around two Germany U21 start that, many argue, Löw should not have left off his 26-man-European Championship roster. Ride Baku (VfL Wolfsburg) and Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen) seem well past ready to make the leap to the senior team. The Kicker report notes that Wirtz, also returning from injury, has been deemed fit enough for selection.

Opting for the youngsters would constitute quite the statement from Flick. A lot speaks for veteran returnees like Thomas Müller, Ilkay Gündogan, and potentially even Marco Reus. Both Müller and Gündogan have signaled their readiness, while it's not yet clear if Reus want to revisit his decision to focus on club football.

There remains the possibility of a bombshell selection of sorts. One must, of course, take any mention of a return for Mario Götze in the German media with a grain of salt. No football lover in the Bundesrepublik can shake inherent bias when it comes to the topic of a potential sensational comeback for 2014's World Cup hero,

There nevertheless exists some factual basis behind the rumors. Götze looked to be in his best form in years amid PSV's recent UCL qualifying campaign. The 29-year-old tallied three times in six matches during the Dutch club's (ultimately failed) bid for the Champions' League.

Flick himself recently noted that the former national team star has "gotten back on track" in the Erdevisie. Götze looks to factor into PSV head-coach Roger Schmidt's plans much more this year after Donyell Malen's departure, meaning that the topic of his potential return isn't likely to go away.

Most of the national team squads for the upcoming international break are being announced today (Thursday). For vaguely defined "administrative reasons", Germany's will be announced tomorrow (Friday).

The German national team plays Liechtenstein (Sep 2nd), Armenia (Sep 5th), and Iceland (Sep 8th) during the coming break. Nine points from three matches likely won't arithmetically clinch qualification.

The Nationalmannschaft can nevertheless ill afford to drop any more points in the quest to finish first place in the group. Only the group topper punch an automatic ticket to Qatar.

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