Hardly anyone expected that!
National coach Hansi Flick (57) has nominated Armel Bella-Kotchap (20) for the squad of the German national team for the first time. “We want to see him in our circle. He has developed well, ”said Flick, who has been on the phone with Ralph Hasenhüttl (55), Bella-Kotchaps trainer in Southampton, in the past few days.
After playing 22 Bundesliga games for Bochum this summer, the central defender switched to Premier League side FC Southampton for around €10m. The youngster played the full 90 minutes in the last five league games there. So far he has played nine games for the German U21s.
This nomination is unexpected because the games against Hungary in Leipzig (September 23, 8:45 p.m.) and in London’s Wembley Stadium against England (September 26, 8:45 p.m.) are the last competitive games before the World Cup in Qatar (November 20th to December 18th) are! Is Bella-Kotchap going to the World Cup too?
The World Cup begins for the German national team on November 23 with the game against Japan, followed by duels with Spain (November 27) and Costa Rica (December 1). About a week before the first World Cup game against Japan, a test match is to be played, but the opponent has not yet been determined.
The nomination is also a real indication for the World Cup and was therefore eagerly awaited!
The German 24-man squad at a glance:
Tor: Manuel Neuer (Bayern), Marc-André ter Stegen (FC Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Defense: Armel Bella-Kotchap (Southampton), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Robin Gosens (Inter), Thilo Kehrer (West Ham), David Raum (RB Leipzig), Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid), Nico Schlotterbeck (Borussia Dortmund), Niklas Süle (Borussia Dortmund)
Midfield/Attack: Joshua Kimmich, Jamal Musiala, Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sané, Thomas Müller, Leon Goretzka (all FC Bayern), Julian Brandt, Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), İlkay Gündoğan (Manchester City), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig), Kai Havertz ( Chelsea), Jonas Hofmann (Gladbach), Lukas Nmecha (Wolfsburg)
Other changes compared to the squad from the last internationals in June:
– Ter Stegen replaces Oliver Baumann in goal after recovering from injury.
– Benjamin Henrichs, Lukas Klostermann (injured) and Jonathan Tah are missing in defence, but Bella-Kotchap, Gosens and Ginter are there.
– Anton Stach and Karim Adeyemi are also missing because Flick reduced the size of the squad from 26 to 24 players.
– Mario Götze and Mats Hummels, both world champions in 2014, are still not there.
But the biggest surprise is definitely Bella-Kotchap!