Head coach Antonio Di Salvo has named his Germany U21 squad for the upcoming friendlies against France (Magdeburg, 23rd September 18:15 CEST) and England (Sheffield, 27th September 20:45). Christian Früchtl (Austria Vienna) has been called up to the squad for the first time and Reda Khadra (Sheffield United) and Frederik Jäkel (Arminia Bielefeld), who have been named in the squad on previous occasions, could make their debuts.
Noah Atubolu (SC Freiburg), Maximilian Bauer (FC Augsburg), Jordan Beyer (Burnley), Yannik Keitel (SC Freiburg) and Felix Nmecha (VfL Wolfsburg), who all missed the European Championship qualifiers against Hungary (4-0) and Poland (2-1) in June, are back in the squad. Antonio Di Salvo, however, must do without captain Jonny Burkardt (Mainz 05) and Josha Vagnoman (VfB Stuttgart), who are both injured. Freiburg’s Kevin Schade, who has recently returned from injury, has not been named in the squad after discussions with his club. Armel Bella Kotchap will not feature for the U21s, as he has been named in Hansi Flick’s squad for the upcoming Nations League matches.
“In preparation for next year’s European Championship, we are coming up against two top teams,” explained Di Salvo. “We have, for the most part, selected players who helped secure our passage to the tournament. These matches will give us an indicator of where we are at. It’s regrettable that some of our key players are missing out, but this gives the other lads their opportunity.”
Di Salvo continued: “I am delighted that Armel has got his chance and I wish him all the best with the first team. He has developed really well over the last few months. One of our main tasks as a coaching team is to develop players for Hansi’s side.”
The team will come together this Sunday in Wolfsburg. On Monday, the players and the coaching staff will perform their social duties and visit a retirement home in Wolfsburg. “We wanted to visit the residents a couple of years ago but Corona got in the way. We have been in contact via the internet, especially during the 2021 European Championship. We’re looking forward to finally meeting the residents and the staff in person".
The usual international break in October has been disrupted due to the winter World Cup in Qatar. Accordingly, after the September friendlies, the U21s will not be in action again until November, when they will come up against some top opponents in order to prepare for the 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Romania and Georgia next summer.