Moukoko and 5 stars who can join Bella-Kotchap to declare for Germany
Hansi Flick has given Armel Bella-Kotchapa his debut Germany call-up to the UEFA Nations League, but he can still call up several players who have yet to sign up for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Die Mannschaft will play their final competitive games before flying to the Middle East in November against Hungary and England. Germany host the Nemzeti Tizenegy at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig on September 23 before visiting the Three Lions at Wembley on September 26.
Flick’s side can still top Group 3 of League A after the final Nations League matches, with one point currently separating second-placed Germany and Hungary. England need points in their encounters with Italy and Die Mannschaft to pull themselves off the bottom of the table.
Flick gave Bell-Kotchap his first invitation to Germany for the Nations League matches with Hungary and England. The 20-year-old has previously featured at youth level with Die Mannschaft at U18 to U21 levels, but was also eligible to report for France or Cameroon.
The centre-half was born in Paris in 2001 and is the son of former Cameroon international Cyrille Bello. But Bella-Kotchap opted to play for Germany, the country where he grew up and started his career in 2005, until this June when he joined Southampton for £9.5m.
“I didn’t know that number,” Bella-Kotchap said, as quoted by Kicker, of his call-up to Flick’s Germany squad for the UEFA Nations League. “I was very surprised but also very happy.
The 6ft 3 enforcer can make his German debut after just 22 Bundesliga appearances and six Premier League appearances so far in his fledgling career. Bella-Kotchap broke through at VfL Bochum in 2021/22 after 44 games in the second tier before joining Southampton.
Still, Flick could follow Bella-Kotchap’s inclusion by calling up a number of players who have already declared their international commitment ahead of this year’s 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Borussia Dortmund gem Moukoko could be the next player to declare for Germany
Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Youssoufa Moukoko could be one of the next players to sign for Germany after Bella-Kotchapa. The 17-year-old has already featured at youth level for Die Mannschaft, but is also eligible for Cameroon after being born in Yaounde in 2004.
Germany have struggled to keep Moukoko’s rise under control since 2017 with caps at U16, U20 and U21 level. He also flourished at U21 level with six goals in his first four games, hitting the net at least once every time he entered the U21 field.
Moukoko transferred his attacking potential to the senior stage with Borussia Dortmund. He has seven goals and four assists in 46 games so far in all competitions after hitting his latest effort off the bench to beat rivals Schalke 1-0 in the Bundesliga.
The striker also entered the record books with his goal in the Revierderby. Moukoko is now the youngest goalscorer in the history of the fierce competition, as well as being the youngest Bundesliga player, goalscorer and youngest gem to make his debut for Germany U21 at the age of 16 years and 286 days.
Germany can avoid potentially offending Knauff by calling up a Ghana-suited winger
Germany can avoid potential offense further down the line by calling up 20-year-old Ansgar Knauff before Ghana declares the winger their own player. The forward is eligible for both nations as he is of Ghanaian descent despite being born in Gottingen, Germany.
Ghana are keen to lure Knauff’s commitment to the Black Stars after impressing on loan to Eintracht Frankfurt from Borussia Dortmund. Sports World Ghana reported in May after helping Die Adler win the Europa League that manager Otto Addo met with him and his family.
Addo tried to hold discussions with Knauff and those close to him about a possible future with Ghana. And with the youngster showing his versatility as well as attacking potential with Eintracht Frankfurt, the Black Stars are unlikely to give up their chase without a fight.
Undav may consider declaring as a Turkey player while Germany waits
Deniz Undav must consider his international future at the age of 26, having never featured for Germany or Turkey at any level. The attacker was born in Achim, Germany, but also has Turkish citizenship. Yet his domestic displays have yet to return a single cap.
The 2022/23 campaign has yet to see Undav at his best since joining Brighton & Hove Albion from a loan spell at Union Saint-Gilloise last term. He stayed on for the second half of the season after agreeing a £6m switch to the Amex Stadium side under Graham Potter.
Undava’s stay at Union Saint-Gilloise was a godsend for the Stade Joseph Marien outfit as he helped Les Unionistes finish second in the Jupiler Pro League table and qualify for the third qualifying round of the Champions League with 25 goals and 10 assists in his 33 appearances.
Nigeria could test Germany’s access plans for Schade
Nigeria could test Germany’s future plans by launching an approach for SC Freiburg poacher Kevin Schade. The 20-year-old has so far featured at youth level for Die Mannschaft U18, 19, 20 and 21, but is also eligible to feature for the Super Eagles.
The Potsdam, Germany native is the son of a Nigerian and is now finding his way back to full fitness after returning in September from an injury sustained in March this year. Despite this problem, Brentford struggled to secure a move to the Premier League over the summer.
Sky Germany reports, as quoted by Get German Football News, noted that the Bees have explored a €20m (£17.5m) move after seeing a €15m (£13m) bid fail. And the speedy and versatile winger appears to have considered his future at international level in a clear way.
“I could play for Nigeria, but I don’t really feel drawn there,” Schade was quoted as saying by Bulinews in October 2021. “I was born and raised in Germany. That’s why I play for Germany.”
A move to AC Milan may not be the only change for Thiaw in 2022
A move to AC Milan in the summer may not be the only change for Malick Thiaw in 2022 with Germany and Finland a possible future. The Rossoneri paid Schalke €7m (£6m) in August for the versatile 21-year-old, who can play at centre-half, right-back and in midfield.
Stefano Pioli has established himself at centre-half after helping his former academy club regain their place in the Bundesliga. Thiaw made 31 appearances and provided two goals in the 2021/22 Bundesliga 2 campaign, after one each in 23 top-flight appearances in 2019/20 and 2020/21.
His performances at the VELTINS-Arena led to Thiaw earning his Germany Under-21 debut in September 2021. The breakthrough marked his first international match at any level in any country with the Düsseldorf native eligible for Die Mannschaft or Finland.
Germany can add a versatile player in Uzbekistan– eligible stone Anton
Germany could add a versatile and uncompromising player to their World Cup plans with a first call-up for Uzbekistan-born Waldemar Anton. The 26-year-old made 11 appearances for Die Mannschaft’s under-21s between 2016 and 2019, but has yet to make the step up to senior level.
Anton also once captained Germany’s U21s before finding himself on the fringes of the junior side under Stefan Kuntz. His lack of international action has not stopped the centre-back – equally capable playing in front of the defense – enjoying a strong club career.
His robust presence and strong ability on the ball have made Anton an integral part of VfL Stuttgart’s backline. Despite his team’s struggles at the bottom of the table, Anton offered a no-nonsense body to help secure five draws while aiming for a first win.
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