Germany coach Joachim Low has stressed Bayern Munich attacker Mario Gotze remains a key figure for the reigning world champions as they prepare for Euro 2016.
Gotze has been struggling to secure regular first-team action at Bayern this campaign, partially due to injury, and has made just 12 appearances in all competitions for the Bundesliga leaders in 2015-16.
He recently resumed regular training after overcoming a hamstring problem, but has featured just once since re-joining his team-mates at Bayern.
However, Gotze has assured that he still has a role to play for Germany at the upcoming showpiece in France.
“We are counting on Mario for the European Championship,” Low said at a news conference ahead of the friendly against England.
“He is a very important player for us. I know what he is capable of.
“His attitude is great and he is part of our plans.
“Mario has some incredible technical skills. He is very refined and can decide matches.”
Low left Joshua Kimmich out of his squad for the friendlies against England and Italy, but he admitted the Bayern Munich man is one of a number of promising youngsters in contention for a place in his Euro 2016 squad.
“Our planning for the Euros is underway. I have a number of young players from the Under-21 squad on my list,” he added.
“Kimmich has already shown what he can do in a number of positions. I see a future for him in a central role, either in central midfield or at centre-back.
“There is a lot of competition for places. Some of our youngsters are pushing hard for a place in the squad.”