Should Mats Hummels Return to the National Team?
Mats Hummels has been one of the best defenders in Europe this season. Has the 33-year old deserved an opportunity to return to the German National Team ahead of the World Cup?
On Thursday morning, Hansi Flick announced his national team squad for the upcoming Nations League fixtures.
Wins versus Hungary and England would guarantee Die Mannschaft’s spot in June’s Nations League finals, but more importantly, the matches in Leipzig and London are the final two competitive tests before Germany kicks off their World Cup campaign.
As such, Hansi Flick’s squad selection has come under far more scrutiny than at any other point since he arrived last summer.
Renewed call-ups for Lukas Nmecha, Timo Werner, and Julian Brandt have caused a stir amongst the fanbase, but perhaps the biggest decision of all was to give 20-year-old Armel Bella-Kotchap his first international call-up.
After starring in Bochum’s against-the-odds survival, Bella-Kotchap completed a €10m + bonuses move to FC Southampton over the summer.
It was the biggest sale in Bochum’s history, but it still feels like a bargain given his immense talent, and how well he has adapted to life in the Premier League.
The German center-back has started, and gone the full 90 minutes, in 6 of Southampton’s 7 Premier League fixtures, growing in confidence with each passing match.
It’s fair to say that Bella-Kotchap will have a big future in the dress of the German national team, but we at The German Football Weekly question whether it was the right time to give him his first international call-up.
With Mats Hummels left out in his place, has Hansi Flick potentially made a grave error ahead of the biggest tournament in the football calendar?
In this subscriber special, we look at 3 reasons why we believe Mats Hummels should have earned his first international call-up since EURO 2020, and why the influential Dortmund defender could be a key player at the Qatar World Cup should he feature in Hansi Flick’s plans.
The Form Check
It’s hard to argue that Bella-Kotchap isn’t in incredible form.
Only 3 players under the age of 21 have earned more minutes in the Premier League, while the youngster's physical presence and composure in possession are proving crucial in keeping Southampton clear of the relegation zone.
Nevertheless, the performances of Mats Hummels are even more impressive.
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