The New Faces in the German National Team
6 players have been called up to the German National team for the first time in their career. Which of these 6 deserved the call up, & for whom may it have come too soon?
The German national team will meet for international fixtures this week for the very first time since exiting the World Cup groupstage.
Since that fateful night on the 1st of December, Germany have parted ways with national team director Oliver Bierhoff and lost their starting goalkeeper to a potentially career-ending injury.
A lot has changed off the field, but on the pitch, we are still waiting to see the reaction from another tournament disaster.
Friendly fixtures versus Belgium and Peru are in place to prepare the nation for next summer’s home-soil EUROs, and Flick has gone with a bold squad selection that sees 6 youngsters earn their very first call-up to the side.
In this premium subscriber special, I look at every new face in the national team, determining if they deserved their spot in the spotlight, or if this selection perhaps came too soon.
Though Malick Thiaw only joined the squad after Armel Bella-Kotchap was forced to pull out with injury, his induction into the German national team only felt like a matter of time.
The 21-year-old A.C. Milan centerback has been a colossal figure for the Italian champions, and he is arguably the best German centerback in all of Europe in 2023.
Signed from Schalke 04 late in the summer window, Thiaw required time to integrate himself into Pioli’s side, however, since the World Cup, it’s been nearly impossible for the Rossoneri to drop him from the side.
Thiaw has featured in every minute of Milan’s last 6 Serie A fixtures. The young centerback has even played a starring role in the Rossoneri’s Champions League coup against Tottenham Hotspurs.
After not even earning selection for the Champions League’s initial 25-man shortlist, Thiaw didn’t let his head drop, working hard on his game, and returning to the squad for the knockout stages.
There, he has not just earned his first UCL minutes, but he has even starred in both fixtures as Milan held Spurs goalless across two legs.
Only Theo Hernández won more tackles across both matches, but not even the Frenchman could better Thiaw’s 7 interceptions.
Verdict: Deserved the Call-up
Josha Vagnoman is arguably the most surprising candidate to earn a call-up to Hansi Flick’s squad.
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