Germany's Loew to take seven debutants to Confederations Cup
17 May 2017 - 22:32
Berlin: Germany's head coach Joachim Loew named seven uncapped players for next month's Confederations Cup in Russia as the injury-hit world champions unveiled an experimental squad.
Injury and illness had already sidelined World Cup-winners Mario Goetze, captain Manuel Neuer and Benedikt Hoewedes for the June 17-July 2 competition.
Midfielder Julian Weigl, 21, of Borussia Dortmund, was also ruled out after fracturing his ankle last Saturday.
As expected, Loew has reacted by naming an inexperienced 23-man squad -- none of whom are over 30 -- which he aims to blood a year before Germany launch their defence of the World Cup.
Only three of the squad - Matthias Ginter, Julian Draxler and Shkodran Mustafi -- won the 2014 World Cup and none of them played in the final.
Ajax winger Amin Younes, 23, is amongst the debutants, along with Hoffenheim's striker Sandro Wagner and midfielder Kerem Demirbay, 23, plus Hertha Berlin's deadball expert, defender Marvin Plattenhardt, 25.
At 29, burly forward Wagner is the oldest member of the youthful squad.
Premier League midfielders Liverpool's Emre Can, 23, and Manchester City's Leroy Sane, 21, have the chance to add to their handful of caps.
First-choice players like Thomas Mueller, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng (all Bayern Munich), plus Real Madrid's Toni Kroos and Arsenal's Mesut Ozil are all left out to rest.
"The aim is to bring a few players up to world-class level, so that they can help us in crucial games. Then I'd be happy," explained the German coach.
"I see the strain on players like Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos and Mats Hummels, they play almost every three days in crucial weeks.
"That is emotionally extremely exhausting, not just physically."
There is no place for veteran striker Mario Gomez, who has scored 30 goals in 70 internationals, as he battles German league relegation with Wolfsburg.
Loew has left injury-prone Dortmund winger Marco Reus out to work on his fitness with one eye on the 2018 World Cup.
"I talked to him in detail, I would have liked to have taken him, but I had to weigh up the risk," explained Loew.
Reus missed the 2014 World Cup triumph in Brazil after tearing ankle ligaments in a warm-up game and sat out Euro 2016 with a pelvis injury.