Germany calls up Musiala, Wirtz for WCup qualifiers


BERLIN — Germany coach Joachim Löw called up Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz for the first time on Friday for upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

The 18-year-old Musiala makes the squad after enjoying a breakthrough season at Bayern Munich. The attacking midfielder last month opted to play for Germany over England, having played for both countries at youth level. The 17-year-old Wirtz has similarly impressed at Bayer Leverkusen.

“They deserve their nominations for recent good performances,” said Löw, who is stepping down after this summer’s European Championship. “With such young players, it’s our responsibility to bring them along carefully and step-by-step to the highest level. Both have huge potential and I’m sure we’ll have lots of fun with them in the next years.”

The German soccer federation said Löw’s selection was made while taking account of coronavirus-related travel restrictions on players coming from England. The British based contingent – which includes Chelsea players Antonio Rüdiger, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, Manchester City midfielder İlkay Gündoğan and Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno – will undergo extra tests and they will be isolated internally within the group.

“This includes, for example, activities around mealtimes, so that there are no opportunities for them to make contact (with the non-British based players) apart from during actual games, training sessions and team meetings,” the federation said.

Germany plays Iceland in Duisburg on Thursday, three days before facing Romania in Bucharest, before hosting North Macedonia in Duisburg on March 31.

Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Amin Younes is back in the squad for the first time since a World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan in October 2017.

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen, Borussia Dortmund defender Emre Can, Leipzig defender Lukas Klostermann and Havertz are also back after missing Germany’s last game – a 6-0 thrashing by Spain in November.

Germany squad:

Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno (Arsenal), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt).

Defenders: Emre Can (Borussia Dortmund), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Robin Gosens (Atalanta), Marcel Halstenberg (Leipzig), Lukas Klostermann (Leipzig), Philipp Max (PSV Eindhoven), Antonio Rüdiger, Chelsea), Niklas Süle (Bayern Munich), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen).

Midfielders: Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), İlkay Gündoğan (Manchester City), Kai Havertz (Chelsea), Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Florian Neuhaus (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen), Amin Younes (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Forwards: Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich), Leroy Sané (Bayern Munich), Timo Werner (Chelsea)

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