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Amiri, Waldschmidt, Koch, Serdar: the new faces called up for Germany

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There are some unfamiliar faces in Germany’s squad for these upcoming games. Here’s a quick overview of what each player brings to the team.

Germany - Training Session
Nadiem Amiri, October 7, 2019.
Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

The German national team has called up several new faces this international break. No fewer than ten regular squad members are out injured, from Leroy Sané to Matthias Ginter, and of course head coach Jogi Löw refuses to reconsider the forced retirement of Mats Hummels, Thomas Müller, or Jerome Boateng, where three backups could easily be found. So who are the new faces joining Die Mannschaft? Let’s meet them:

Nadiem Amiri (22, Bayern Leverkusen)

Amiri comes into the senior team having recently starred in the UEFA U-21 European Cup over the summer. Playing a part in all five of Germany’s U-21 Championship games, Amiri amassed a total of three goals and two assists. Of the 450 possible playing minutes, Amiri played 279. He averaged a goal every 55.8 minutes while playing at the championship, quite an impressive feat.

On club level, Amiri now plays for Bayer Leverkusen after transferring from Hoffenheim this summer for a fee of €9 million. Prior to joining Hoffenheim’s youth teams, Amiri played for Mannheim Youth and Kaiserslautern Youth.

Amiri is a player Low will have some fun with positionally. Amiri is primarily an attacking midfielder. However, he is also capable of playing as a central midfielder as well as a left winger. In fact, Amiri played exclusively on the left wing for Germany at the U-21 European Championship. For Bayer Leverkusen, Amiri has generally played as the lone attacking midfielder. His most inspiring performance in this position came against Augsburg in which he set up two goals. Amiri has also played as one of two attacking midfielders in a 3-4-2-1 formation, alongside Kai Havertz. Amiri is also only 22 years old, so he has plenty of time and room to grow into a future star for Germany. This is a player to watch out for!

Luca Waldschmidt (23, SC Freiburg)

Waldschmidt also comes into the senior team having recently been a star for Germany’s U-21 team at the European Championship. Luca Waldshmidt was by far the front-runner for the golden boot, totalling an impressive seven goals and one assist in only five games. Waldschmidt played every single minute of Germany’s campaign.

Sport-Club Freiburg v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga
Waldschmidt scores against Borussia Dortmund, Oct. 5, 2019.
Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Waldschmidt plays for SC Freiburg in the Bundesliga, so far helping them incredibly to a Champions League spot (4th place, a record of 4-2-1, and 14 points) — if they can hold it. Waldshmidt has contributed four goals in the Bundesliga so far this season, not so bad for a young striker. Before moving to Freiburg in the summer of 2018 for a €5 million fee, Waldschmidt played for Hamburg for two years, having moved there from Eintracht Frankfurt for €1.3 million.

Waldschmidt is primarily a centre-forward, either as a lone striker or a second striker. He has the ability, however, to play on either wing, having played there sporadically in the past. He is a modest 5’11” but he is physically very strong. He possesses all the attributes to become a world-class striker. He is left-footed and can really hit some long range beauties with it, as seen in the European Championship and more recently against Dortmund last weekend. Waldschmidt is certainly an exciting young German talent and might just be Germany’s next big striker.

Robin Koch (23, SC Freiburg)

Koch is another young German who plays for SC Freiburg at club level. Koch has never really established himself in the German Youth setup, but he has quickly established himself as a leader in Freiburg’s backline after transferring there from FC Kaiserslautern for €5 million in the summer of 2017. Koch has played every single Bundesliga minutes throughout Freiburg’s seven games this season.

Koch is strong in the air, standing at 6’3”, and he is also quite good in his defensive positioning. Koch is first and foremost a central defender. He has played as the most central centre-back in a back three in six of seven Bundesliga games this season. Against FC Köln, Koch played as one of two defensive midfielders in a 2-1 loss. Koch is very much a traditional centre-back. It is difficult to decipher at this point what Koch’s future will hold for him with the German national team. He is still young and has time to potentially become an important figure in the DFB setup.

Suat Serdar (22, Schalke 04)

Serdar has consistently been involved with the German youth teams. Serdar spent ten years in the Mainz youth setup before joining Schalke in the summer of 2018 for a $11.97 million transfer fee. Serdar has played in five of Schalke’s Bundesliga games this season. In those five games Serdar managed a modest three goals to be Schalke’s second top scorer so far this season. Serdar’s main position is as a central midfielder. However, he has also been deployed as an attacking midfielder and a defensive midfielder at times. Recently against RB Leipzig, Serdar also played as a left middle/winger.

Serdar is a very versatile midfielder who also possesses reasonable speed as well as a good eye for a pass on a counter attack. His most defining attribute as a midfielder is without a doubt his physicality. He shows no hesitation when sliding in or putting in a rough shoulder to shoulder challenge. Serdar is an exciting midfield prospect for Germany and is one to keep an eye on as he continues to develop.

German National Football Team
Suat Serdar in conversation with Jogi Löw, October 7, 2019.
Photo by Bernd Thissen/picture alliance via Getty Images