Bastian Schweinsteiger has been included in Germany’s provisional squad for Euro 2016.
Head coach Joachim Low has opted to hand a place to his captain despite the Manchester United midfielder having made just one Premier League appearance since January as the result of a knee injury.
Mario Gomez has been rewarded for firing Besiktas to the Turkish Super Lig title with a place in the squad, while rising stars Julian Weigl, Joshua Kimmich and Leroy Sane have also been given a spot, along with the uncapped Julian Brandt.
“We have watched them for a long time,” Low said of the youngsters. “Sane is incredibly fast, Weigl has played a good role for Dortmund.
“Kimmich is someone who can play in a number of positions. Brandt is technically gifted and fast.”
— Die Mannschaft (@DFB_Team) May 17, 2016
Low admitted they will monitor the fitness of Schweinsteiger closely before making a final decision on whether to take him to France – and who should replace him as captain if he remains at home.
“He’s still injured but he’s running again,” he said. “We must wait and see when he will be back. If he doesn’t make it in time, we’ll decide who will be captain. But he will be decisive when he is fit.”
Low also insisted that Lukas Podolski – who has enjoyed an improved campaign with Galatasaray – can still make a decisive impact on the international stage.
“Lukas still has huge sporting value, even if some people can’t understand that,” he said. “He can still bring the performance that we expect of him.”
Germany squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Emre Can (Liverpool), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Benedikt Howedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia), Sebastian Ruby (Hoffenheim), Antonio Rudiger (Roma)
Midfielders: Karim Bellarabi (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Wolfsburg), Mario Gotze (Bayern Munich), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Leroy Sane (Schalke), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United), Julian Weigl (Borussia Dortmund)
Forwards: Mario Gomez (Besiktas), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (Galatasaray), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schurrle (Wolfsburg)