Sports magazine kicker recently compiled a list of national team players and grouped them into several categories based on their chances of securing a place in Germany’s squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Who’s in contention and who can potentially miss out? Let’s take a look:
On the plane
Manuel Neuer, Marc-André ter Stegen, Jonas Hofmann, Thilo Kehrer, Antonio Rüdiger, Niklas Süle, Leon Goretzka, Joshua Kimmich, İlkay Gündoğan, Serge Gnabry, Kai Havertz, Thomas Müller, Leroy Sané, Timo Werner
- The Bayern Munich troop of Neuer, Kimmich, Goretzka, Müller and Sané will likely form the backbone of this team. The German outlet aptly labeled Müller as Hansi Flick’s ‘Mr. Indispensable’.
- Süle and Havertz could be next in line to join the group of core players. Süle is perhaps Germany’s most complete center-back, while Havertz has shown excellent chemistry with his teammates on the offensive front.
- Gnabry and Werner are no-brainer picks but it will be interesting to see if either of them deserves to be a starter. The inconsistent duo could face fierce competition from a bunch of other players for the last spot in attack.
Robin Gosens, Karim Adeyemi, Jamal Musiala, Marco Reus, Florian Wirtz
- At present, young Musiala has enough quality to take the role of an ‘impact substitute’. However, he still has nine months of development under his belt and if he continues on his current trajectory, the Stuttgart-native could give Flick a big starting-XI selection headache by the time the tournament kicks-off.
- Gosens has made just one appearance under the new Bundestrainer as he has been on the sidelines since September. But the 27-year-old was a starter for both his club and country before his injury, which is why he has a better shot at breaking into the squad than any other player in his position.
Still have a fighting chance
Bernd Leno, Kevin Trapp, Ridle Baku, Christian Günter, Lukas Klostermann, David Raum, Matthias Ginter, Mats Hummels, Nico Schlotterbeck, Julian Brandt, Emre Can, Florian Neuhaus
- There’s an intense competition for places within this category. Hummels is in a three-way battle with Ginter and Schlotterbeck for the fourth center-back spot. However, Flick isn’t said to be a big fan of Ginter’s qualities. Schlotterbeck, on the other hand, has been one of Europe’s exciting prospects with Freiburg, this season. As for Hummels, the Borussia Dortmund man has been struggling with form and fitness issues since the Euros, but the 33-year-old can still lead his team on-and-off the pitch and brings valuable experience. Plus, we would love to have a World Cup edition #ThoMats challenge.
- Leno and Trapp were both called up for Germany as Flick took four goalkeepers in the previous international break. Trapp appears to have a higher chance of sealing the ticket to Qatar.
- Die Mannschaft’s depth in midfield is simply not ideal.
Marcel Halstenberg, Robin Koch, Jonathan Tah, Maximilian Arnold, Jonathan Burkardt, Mahmoud Dahoud, Julian Draxler, Lukas Nmecha, Kevin Volland
- Nmecha is Wolfsburg’s top-scorer with eight goals in all competitions and was recently included in Bundesliga’s top five breakout stars of this season. The 23-year-old was touted as a near-complete target man by Müller and with Germany lacking an out-and-out striker, Nmecha could make the final cut.