Germany had a strong youth presence in their World Cup winning squad two years ago. Which youngsters will make the cut for the European Championship when Joachim Löw announces his final squad on Tuesday?
With the squad deadline just a day away, time is running out for Germany coach Joachim Löw to put together his final 23-man squad for the 2016 European Championship in France. Having called just 27 players in for Germany's final two friendlies, he may have an easier time trimming his roster, but he has several important squad decisions he will have to make.
Most of the squad selections that Löw will have to make center around the four U21 players he brought in – Julian Brandt, Joshua Kimmich, Leroy Sane and Julian Weigl. All four players took big steps in their development at club level in 2015/16, and all could contribute to Germany's team right away.
Löw included four players aged 22 or younger in Germany's World Cup squad in 2014. He will have a tough task excluding one of these four young stars when determines his final 23-man squad.
Brandt will boost Germany's attack
Löw is not short of attacking options with Mario Gomez back in the fold and Lukas Podolski still in the national team picture. That said, there still may be a spot for the in form Brandt, who scored six of Leverkusen's last eight games.
Brandt combines well with the players around him, so he could slot well into Löw's fluid attack. He could displace a player like Andre Schürrle, who went to the World Cup with Germany two years ago but scored in just one of Germany's qualifiers for the Euros.
Keep Kimmich out for now
Germany's defense is still not sorted, even with the Euros on the horizon. Including a new face like Kimmich could make an unsettled situation even worse.
Kimmich was a regular defender under Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich in the 2015/16, and Löw tested him out as a central defender against Slovakia. His Germany debut did not go too well, for he left Michal Duris unmarked in the penalty area before the Slovakian player headed in the winning goal.
With Germany struggling on corner kicks – six of the last 12 goals Germany has conceded have come from corners – Kimmich may not be the right kind of defender Löw should use in his squad.
Sane still a spring chicken
He is tenacious and elusive, but Sane's inconsistency will ace him out of getting a place in Germany's Euro squad. Against Slovakia, he timed his runs well and displayed the offensive instincts that lead him to score nine goals with Schalke in the 2015/16 season. However, his wild first touches showed how much of a work in progress he still is.
The 20-year-old forward made major strides with Schalke this season, but he has not upped his game to the same level of other forwards in Germany's squad.
Weigl valuable to Germany's balance
Germany possess some of the best central midfielders in the world, but Julian Weigl may still have a role to play at the Euros. Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger may still not be entirely fit, which means Löw may still need an alternative to Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira in the center of the park.
As a defensively strong, deep-lying midfielder who starts the play, Weigl could also allow Löw to put more of his attackers on the field at once. The 20-year-old midfielder showed with Dortmund this season he is ready to take on bigger challenges, and the European Championship could be one of those.
What do you think? Who should join Jogi Löw's World Cup squad?