Coach Stefan Kuntz has named his 23-man squad for the knockout stages of the UEFA European U21s Championship in Hungary and Slovenia (31st May-6th June). Germany U21s will take on Denmark in the quarterfinals at Szekesfehervar on 31st May (21:00 CEST). Three additional players will travel to the training camp in South Tyrol from 24th to 29th May.
“Our motto of ‘special times, a special team’ is reflected again in our preparations for the knockout stages,” said Kuntz. “With several of our players involved in the play-offs in Germany and England, we will have to improvise somewhat. We have therefore invited three further players so that the team can initially train with a full squad.”
Karim Adeyemi (RB Salzburg) could make his debut for Germany U21s in the knockout stages. Florian Wirtz, who became the youngest player ever to play for the U21s in October 2020 and has since been called up to the senior side, is back in the squad, while Paul Jaeckel (Greuther Fürth) and Janni Serra (Holstein Kiel) are both involved again.
Serra, as well as Salih Özcan and Ismail Jakobs from 1. FC Köln, still have to play the relegation play-off with their clubs before meeting up with the national side. The same thing applies to Vitaly Janelt, who has reached the Championship play-off final with Brentford in England. Shinta Appelkamp (Fortuna Düsseldorf), Armel Bella-Kotchap (VfL Bochum) and Yannik Keitel (SC Freiburg) have been invited to the training camp.
Kuntz commented on the squad: “Despite several of our players still having play-off matches, we have gone with those lads who got us to the knockout stages, even if some will miss the training camp. They all deserve to be called up. I’m thankful to the clubs and players for being available in the coming days so we can prepare professionally.”
Unlike the group stages played in March, the team will have six days from Monday evening to prepare for the quarterfinal against Denmark on 31st May. The U21s will move into their base in Gárdony in Hungary two days before that game, having already spent a lot of time there during the group stage. Kuntz’s side qualified for the knockouts by beating Hungary 3-0 and drawing with the Netherlands (1-1) and Romania (0-0). Denmark, on the other hand, won all three matches without conceding a single goal and even beat tournament favourites France 1-0.
As a result, Kuntz doesn’t see his side as the favourites: “Denmark have a really strong team. We’re happy that we can prepare properly for this tournament with our training camp and we will use the coming days to be ready for our opponent. It’s helpful that we are familiar with preparations from the last time.”