With several German National team players involved in the Champions League final between Bayern Munich and (potentially) Paris Saint-Germain, Joachim Löw has confirmed that he will not be selecting those players for Die Mannshcaft’s upcoming UEFA Nations League matches. Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry, and Manuel Neuer will all be given extra time to rest and rejuvenate and will not be a part of the squad for the Nations League (Dfb).
Even though he still plans on pardoning those players involved in the Champions League final, he still wants to wait until after the match to announce the squad for the national team. He said, “We are deliberately waiting until after the Champions League final to announce the squad – we will do so next Tuesday. We are giving the final, and the teams playing in it, the respect they deserve. In my opinion this competition and these teams deserve everybody’s full attention. Focus will shift to the national team in September.”
Löw continued by explaining this approach; “The way that I am approaching my plans is as such: players who have been overexerted by the resumption of the Bundesliga will not be chosen for September’s squad, and nor will those who have taken part in the Champions League tournament in Lisbon. We want to give them the necessary time to recover.”
For players like Leroy Sané, Niklas Sule, Julian Draxler, and Thilo Kehrer, Low said the situation could be different from them because they’ve all been working through injuries: “The situation may be a little different for Julian Draxler and Thilo Kehrer, both playing for PSG, and for Leroy Sané and Niklas Süle. All of them have worked through injuries and they have all had spells where they were not playing regularly. They need to find their rhythm again, both in training and in matches.”
Of course, Löw does have a lot to consider. The truncated competition schedules because of the coronavirus pandemic has made things increasingly difficult to balance. Löw wants to give players who haven’t played much a chance to find their form ahead of next summer’s European Championships and wants to give players who have been playing a lot lately the proper time to rest and recover without overdoing it. It’s a tough balance for him to strike with such congested domestic and European schedules.
In their last outing in the Nations League, Germany fared rather poorly and it was in the wake of crashing out of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Löw said he’s willing to work with a slightly weakened squad in September and October, though that’s certainly not the terminology he used: “I have made this decision as I have a responsibility to look after my players. This is one of my highest priorities. With the national team I have always had to strike the right balance between challenging my players and not working them too hard. This is nothing new – the players’ health has always mattered. We have always taken into consideration the demands that we place on individual players, and this hasn’t changed. The players who are chosen to play in September will be given our full attention. Maybe they will grab their chance and open the door for more regular playing time. We said after the 2018 World Cup that we wanted to create room for younger players, so that they can join us and develop further. We are sticking to this plan and not throwing it away anytime soon.