The DFB announced its latest roster and the jersey numbers that would be worn by the players early Tuesday morning. This list contained some interesting changes, to say the least.
Das sind die Rückennummern für #GERSRB und #NEDGER . #DieMannschaft pic.twitter.com/f0e3Ccr0Ut— Die Mannschaft (@DFB_Team) March 18, 2019
Most notably, the iconic numbers worn by Bayern Munich’s Thomas Müller, Mats Hummels, and Jerome Boateng have all been reassigned to current players on coach Jogi Löw’s “rejuvenated” team. Müller’s number 13 has been inherited by RB Leipzig’s right-back Lukas Klostermann. Hummels’ number 5 will be worn henceforth by Bayer Leverkusen center-back Jonathan Tah. Jerome Boateng’s number 17 has been given to Hertha Berlin center-back Niklas Stark.
Both Klostermann and Stark have been called up to the national team for the first time in their careers. Tah has played for Germany previously, but was dropped from the 2018 World Cup squad along with Leroy Sané. Tah has drawn comparisons to Boateng in the past, but it will be Hummels’ number he wears now.
There is another interesting novum in the jersey number announcement. Joshua Kimmich has traded number 18 — which he took precisely not to inherit Philipp Lahm’s number 16 — for Sami Khedira’s former number 6. If the numbers are anything to go by, then Kimmich (and Löw?) will presumably continue playing as Germany’s central defensive midfielder.
Leon Goretzka meanwhile has snatched up Kimmich’s 18. Last but not least, Werder Bremen’s Maximilian Eggestein is listed wearing number 7 — which has been worn by Julian Draxler for the past three years. Draxler has not — at least not officially — be dropped from the national team, and numbers are not set in stone. But the move is curious.