Germany U21s head coach Stefan Kuntz has announced the squad for the final firendlies ahead of this summer’s European Championships in Italy and San Marino. The tournament begins on 16th June 2019 reaching its climax on 30th June 2019. As preparation for that tournament, Kuntz’s side face France in Essen on Thursday, 21st March (18:30 CET) before travelling to Bournemouth to face England five days later on Tuesday, 26th March (20:45 CET).
2017 U21 European Champions Nadiem Amiri (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim) and Lukas Klünter (Hertha BSC) will captain the side for the two friendlies. 1. FSV Mainz 05 goalkeeper Florian Müller and FC Erzgebirge Aue striker Emmanuel Iyoha have been called up to the team for the first time and could make their debuts. Similarly, Preston North End forward Lukas Nmecha could also make his first appearance for Stefan Kuntz’s side. The Hamburg born attacker, who has a German passport, has previously played for England’s youth teams. RB Leipzig’s Lukas Klostermann and SV Werder Bremen’s Maximilian Eggestein, who have both previously featured for the U21s, have been called up to the Germany senior team for the first time by Joachim Löw.
Stefan Kuntz said: “Ahead of the European Championships, we are facing two of the tournament favourites in friendlies. These matches will be two real tests for our squad. After these two matches, we will know exactly where we are going into the tournament and where we will need to improve. I’m delighted to have Lukas Nmecha and Emmanuel Iyoha in the squad for the first time as well as a few returnees who have missed the last couple of matches for various reasons.”
DFN national teams sporting director Joti Chatzialexiou added: “Lukas Nmecha declared his interest to play for his country of birth, Germany, to us. We would like to fully support the player with this intention. Consequently, we sent an urgent appeal to FIFA regarding a switch in nationality so that he can play for Germany U21s. Regardless of whether this decision is approved or not, this international break provides Lukas with the opportunity to get to know his teammates.”
The U21s squad will meet on Tuesday (19th March) in Düsseldorf and the first training session will take place what even together with the Manuel Neuer Kids Foundation. The team will then participate in a public training session the following evening (Wednesday, 20th March, 17:15 CET) in Stadion Essen.
Germany’s first match of this summer’s U21s European Championship is against Denmark in Udine on 17th June (all matches 21:00 CEST). Three days later, the defending champions face Sweden in Trieste before concluding the group stage against Austria on 23rd June. The team will participate in a pre-tournament training camp in South Tyrol from 2nd-11th June.