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After Germany closes international break with Mexico draw, new captain İlkay Gündoğan longs for return of goalkeeper Manuel Neuer

Can Manuel Neuer be the difference?

Germany v Mexico - International Friendly Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

There is no doubt that Bayern Munich star Manuel Neuer is going to be impactful for his club upon returning from an injury sustained on ski trip after last winter’s World Cup in Qatar.

However, Neuer’s return could be even more important for the German national team per midfielder İlkay Gündoğan. Interestingly, new manager Julian Nagelsmann has anointed the FC Barcelona star as Germany’s new captain — even after Neuer makes his long-awaited comeback.

For Gündogan, the team needs Neuer on the roster as soon as possible.

“We’re all keeping our fingers crossed for him that he comes back as quickly as possible and as well as possible. Every team can use someone new in top form. The exchange for me with Manu was always great. There are no problems,” told Az’s Maximilian Koch after Germany earned a 2-2 draw with Mexico in Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

The armband transition seems to have been fumbled a bit given the timing of how this all went down. Perhaps, waiting until Neuer is officially back in the fold might have worked better for Nagelsmann than having it go down this way.

The coach touched on how it all played out in an interview with Bild’s Christian Falk, Tobi Altschäffl, and Heiko Niedderer (as captured by @iMiaSanMia):

Julian Nagelsmann had a phone call with Manuel Neuer where he informed and explained to the goalkeeper his decision to take the captain’s armband away from him

Nagelsmann to @BILD: “Yes, I spoke to Manuel on the phone. He reacted well. He’s a professional”

Neuer accepts the decision and will continue to be available for the national team under Nagelsmann. But without the armband, Neuer is no longer a guaranteed starter at the national team and will have to fight for his place. The goalkeeper could be back to the squad for November’s game, but might have to sit on the bench for now.

Regardless, there will be some transition pains for sure. Now, fans can wait to see how Neuer reacts to seeing his seeing Nagelsmann replace him as Germany’s captain. Hopefully, things settle quickly and all the affected parties can move on quickly.

Looking for more discussion and analysis on the Germany vs. Mexico match? Check out our Bavarian Podcast Works — Postgame Show on Spotify or below:

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