U21 coach, Stefan Kuntz, has called up two new youngsters for the international games in Essen against France (today, 18:30 CET) and in Bournemouth against England (Tuesday, 20:45 CET). Emmanuel Iyoha, from FC Erzgebirge Aue, and Lukas Nmecha, from Preston North End, have both received call-ups. DFB.de spoke to the potential debutants.
The Düsseldorf native completed his first session with the U21 side in his home town. “I’ve been taken in very well by the team and am really looking forward to the game in Essen,” said the 21-year-old. “The coach’s approach has impressed me a lot. He’s very involved in training and the players feed off his energy. There’s a lot of spark during training and the standard is very high.”
Iyoha already has five caps for the U19 national team and eight caps (and one goal) for the U20 side. In his early playing days, the 6’2” striker played with Benjamin Henrichs at Bayer Leverkusen.
Currently, Emmanuel Iyoha is on loan from Fortuna Düsseldorf at 2. Bundesliga side, FC Erzgebirge Aue. The striker has 22 appearances, six assists and three goals to his name at the club.
The Hamburg native has been part of all youth teams between U16 and U21 for England (31 games, eight goals). However, he has recently decided he wants to play for Germany. “I see Germany as my home. Up until the age of nine I lived in Hamburg and still have a big connection to the city and the people there,” said the 20-year-old. “At home I often speak German with my mother so I don’t forget the language.” Making his way into Stefan Kuntz’s team has been quite easy for the attacker, “The chaos has decreased day by day and the boys have taken me in really well.”
The DFB has put in an appeal to FIFA for a change in allegiances. It’s not yet clear whether Nmecha will be able to play during the current international break. “Even if he is not able to play just yet, it’s good that Lukas has already got to know us and has been integrated into the team,” said Kuntz. “He would be an option for us in the upcoming U21 European Championship.”
Lukas Nmecha came through the youth team at Manchester City and is currently on loan at Preston north End. In 32 appearances, he has scored one goal and contributed seven assists. Lukas’ 18-year-old brother, Felix Nmecha, also plays for Manchester City.