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Jonathan Tah dropped from World Cup squad

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The Bayer Leverkusen center back will watch the World Cup from home but has drawn comparisons to Jerome Boateng.

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German defender Jonathan Tah was listed on the four-man omitted list Monday that will not play for the German national team at the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer.

It must be something about those 22-year-old footballers. Leroy Sané, also 22, joins Tah in the group that will likely go on holiday before beginning preseason training later this summer ahead of the upcoming club season.

Tah was a part of a provisional center back group that includes Bayern Munich men, Jérôme Boateng, Mats Hummels and Niklas Süle— who is the same age as Tah. So maybe Löw prefers Bayern players? Not quite.

Tah made his debut for Die Mannschaft in March 2016 in a friendly against England, so he’s quite familiar with international football and does not lack quality in the technical department or the physical department for that matter. The 6-foot-4-inch defender earned two additional caps since his debut for the senior team, but has been a frequent selection with the youth teams, captaining the Under-19s and playing with Under-21s in recent past.

Leverkusen Luck

The Bayer Leverkusen man joins goalkeeper and club teammate, Bernd Leno, on the list that will return home to watch the tournament from the tele. Nils Petersen was also on that list.

The name ‘Tah’ may not jump out at you as swift as ‘Sané’ may have but Jonathan Tah has quietly rose to the senior ranks of German football. The center back made his professional debut with boyhood club, Hamburg SV, at the age of 17.

The tall defender is gifted with aerial talent and enough speed to mark center forwards that try to make runs in behind.

Since making his mark on the Bundesliga in 2013, Tah made a move to domestic foe, Bayer Leverkusen, in July 2016 for a reported €7.5 million. The no. 12 has made 102 appearances for Leverkusen, starting 98 of those matches.

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Injuries

However, the young man from Hamburg has missed at least two matches in every season at the first team level. This past season, Tah missed a total of five matches due to illness and muscle constraints, respectively. Three of his absences came in the last five fixtures in Bayer’s campaign.

The same nagging injury, diagnosed as a muscle fibre injury, caused him to be sidelined for 14 matches last season for the same injury.

The next Boateng

Don’t take this to heart Bayern fans, but Bundesliga pundits have been calling Jonathan Tah, ‘the next Jerome Boateng’ as of late.

The league’s website praised the young center back for his maturity and promise, receiving positive comments from Tah’s teammates in Leverkusen. The league’s website gave a visionary look on what Tah could become saying:

If Bayern’s Niklas Süle is the natural heir to Hummels, Tah has to be considered the most natural fit to fill the boots of Boateng - at least at international level.


A German lesson