The argument for recalling Thomas Müller to the German national team is as strong as ever. Bayern Munich’s Raumdeuter had, without question, been one of the club’s most important players in the past two seasons and one would be hard pressed to find people who don’t think he should be heading to the European Championships with Germany this summer. Joachim Löw has recently entertained the idea of doing so, along with Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels, budging on what had been a consistently long stretch of not wanting to reverse his decision of dropping the two and Jerome Boateng from Die Mannschaft back in 2019.
In his recent column for Sky Germany (via Sport Bild), Lothar Matthäus stressed how important it is for Germany to have Müller go to the Euros this summer. “I would take Müller with me for two reasons. Quality and mentality. If he continues to play as before, there is no getting around him because of the quality,” he said in the column.
Matthäus also stressed that if Löw does decide to include Müller in the roster for the Euros, he needs to be starting him. Bringing him into the squad an then having him sit on the bench would cause too much of a negative discussion around the subject and be far too much of a distraction in his opinion. “Müller on the bench would only lead to unnecessary discussions and distract the structure from the essentials,” he explained.
With Müller in the squad, there would be an abundance of midfielders and attacking players, and thus it would cause some players to not be able to play as much as they would want to at a major international tournament.
Still, though, depth and versatility are absolutely vital for a successful team at an international tournament like the Euros and Matthäus feels that the benefits of having Müller re-added to the squad outweigh the potential side effects of having a number of players unhappy with playing time. It’s a “luxury problem,” he writes. “Of course, Kroos and / or Gündoğan on the bank don’t ensure that much peace either, but that’s a luxury problem. The fact is that nobody has the qualities in the control center that distinguish a Joshua Kimmich. Too many stars who think they have to play, but only sit on the bench, cause more unrest than success,” he wrote.
From Löw’s perspective, having this abundance of midfield and attacking talent shouldn’t be viewed as a negative. Germany is in a difficult group with France, Portugal, and Hungary. Versatility in his personnel selections could greatly benefit how they approach each, individual match. He’ll need the added depth to be able to fine tune his lineups to tailor them specifically to each game plan. Either way, bringing just one player back in Müller won’t overload the squad too much, and Müller would more than likely accept whatever role he’s given, whether that’s starting every match, or only coming on as a sub, regardless what pundits would potentially say about it.