Germany will head to the 2022 World Cup among the favourites under former Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick and with Timo Werner missing out, Borussia Dortmund’s Youssoufa Moukoko will head to Qatar
However, there is no place in the squad for veteran defender Mats Hummels, Dortmund captain Marco Reus nor fit-again Bayer Leverkusen starlet Florian Wirtz after his recovery from a serious knee injury.
Cameroon-born Moukoko is the surprise inclusion, the prodigious-talented teen – who doesn’t turn 18 for another two weeks – being called up by Die Mannschaft for the first time. He has scored six times in five Under-21 internationals, has six goals in 13 Bundesliga games thus far this term and no player in league history has reached 10 league goals at a younger age.
Moukoko is the direct beneficiary of Timo Werner’s injury, with the ex-Chelsea man having been ruled out of the competition. BVB sporting director Sebastian Kehl praised the “improvement of his total package” following a two-goal haul in the weekend win over Bochum.
“I just can’t believe it,” said Moukoko on Instagram, in response to his call up. At this point last year, I felt like I was out of the picture, struggling with many injuries and little playing time. Still, I tried to stay positive and believe in myself. I knew what I could achieve, and the fact that I’m going to the World Cup, a goal that players dream about their whole career, makes me incredibly proud.
“All the hard work has paid off and I’m just incredibly happy and overwhelmed.”
Hummels, part of the 2014 World Cup-winning squad, has been left out, while his centre-back teammate at Dortmund, Nico Schlotterbeck has been included. Southampton’s young defender Armel Bella-Kotchap also is in.
Flick said: “Mats is fully fit and in excellent form. But within the coaching team, we decided for a younger player [Bella-Kotchap]. The focus was more on the future.”
There is also a place for Mario Götze in the squad, following his return to form with Eintracht Frankfurt this term. Götze scored the winner in 2014, as Germany beat Argentina in the final in Brazil.
“He’s a brilliant footballer who has flashes of inspiration,” said Flick. “Mario has been playing at an extremely high level in the past few weeks. He had problems at the beginning, but now he’s fully fit.
“He’s really happy and we’re looking forward to seeing him.”
There are seven players from German champions Bayern Munich, including Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller and former England youth prospect Jamal Musiala.
Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan and Chelsea’s Kai Havertz have also been named.
Full Germany Squad
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Kevin Trapp.
Defenders: Armel Bella-Kotchap, Matthias Ginter, Christian Günter, Thilo Kehrer, Lukas Klostermann, David Raum, Antonio Rudiger, Nico Schlotterbeck, Niklas Süle
Midfielders: Julian Brandt, Niclas Füllkrug, Leon Goretzka, Mario Götze, Ilkay Gundogan, Jonas Hofmann, Joshua Kimmich, Jamal Musiala
Forwards: Karim Adeyemi, Serge Gnabry, Kai Havertz, Youssoufa Moukoko, Thomas Müller, Leroy Sané.