10 Players Who Could Make Their Germany Debut in Euro 2016 Qualifiers
Germany may have just won the 2014 World Cup but it's back to business this Sunday after a summer of celebration with the coming Euro 2016 qualifiers kicking off with a home tie in Dortmund against Scotland.
Joachim Low's side have been forced into some serious changes following their Brazilian's success, with captain Philipp Lahm announcing his retirement alongside World Cup top goalscorer Miroslav Klose and central defender Per Mertesacker.
In a friendly against World Cup Final foes Argentina on Wednesday night, Low's untested side fell to a determined South American team that were desperate for revenge. The final score was 4-2 in Dusseldorf, suggesting that the next crop of German stars need some work.
As such, the bundestrainer may be forced to dig deep into his pool of eligible players and begin reshaping the next generation of young German stars to come.
Here are 10 players who could make their German national team debut this season.
Criteria to Be Considered for This List
With the amount of games now played each season across a whole range of international tournaments, it would seem only right to specify what we mean by "debut" for the German national team.
Although the traditional definition of the word would suggest a player that has never played for the senior national team, we are excusing any player who may have five or less caps for Low's side since many if not all of them would have been earned during needless friendlies.
All the players in this list are still very much in the infancy of their careers and as such would still be considered a new addition to the German team if brought in this season, even if they had already played for their nation a handful of times.
Perhaps one of the more understated moves of the English Premier League transfer window, former Bayer Leverkusen star Emre Can arrives at Liverpool with bags of potential and a sense of purpose that far proceeds his young age.
For Leverkusen, the Bayern Munich youth player made his name as an attacking left-back and soon proved his worth across the pitch in a number of midfield positions.
It's this defensive-midfield role that seems to have attracted the attention of Brendan Rodgers and where we're likely to see Can grow as a player for Liverpool and perhaps even the German national team.
As we saw against Argentina on Wednesday night, Germany's future defensive line is anything but confirmed at this point in time, meaning that any decent young defender in the Bundesliga today should be hopeful of one day getting a chance.
One player who is certainly knocking on the door is 22-year-old Wolfsburg central defender Robin Knoche. A towering defender who has forced his way into one of the most expensively constructed teams in the league.
As an ever-present member of Dieter Hecking's side, we could see Low take quick note of the young German defender if the Wolves are to push on and challenge the bigger clubs in the league this season. An important, young player for a club with a lot of ambition.
Big things were expected of Jonas Hofmann this season. Following an impressive campaign with Borussia Dortmund last year, playing in a number of high-profile matches as seen above, the young German was expected to push on and stake a claim in the first team.
Then Shinji Kagawa came along. And now Dortmund's new prodigy has found himself shipped off on loan to lowly Mainz, a club expected to struggle in the Bundesliga this season without star coach Thomas Tuchel.
Yet Hofmann can still shine and if he can prove that he is stil as useful on either wing in a lesser squad then Low will be forced to acknowledge the young man's talents.
As the second Wolfsburg youngster on our list, Maximilian Arnold arrives as undoubtedly one of the most exciting young players in the Bundesliga today.
According to Transfermarkt, the German attacking midfielder picked up an impressive seven goals and three assists in 28 appearances for the Wolves last season.
Arnold can of course play on the right wing or through the centre of the midfield, offering pace and technique to pull away from any defender. Just watch this Wolfsburg prodigy push on again this season and begin knocking on that national team door.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen
Okay, this one is a bit obvious. Yet many don't know that Barcelona's latest goalkeeping talent only has four caps for the German national team.
Quality, German shot-stoppers are famously in high supply in the Bundesliga yet what Ter Stegen has over all others across his current generation is the simple fact that he now plays for Barcelona.
If the former Gladbach player can make his way into the Catalan side and begin making a name for himself this season, there's no reason why Low won't begin considering him as a possible German No.2 instead of the ageing Roman Weidenfeller and a long-term challenger for Manuel Neuer.
Again, another player who has featured in the German first team of late (although it was his only cap to date), Andre Hahn of Borussia Monchengladbach is undoubtedly a Bundesliga player who may well be pushing for a spot in Low's team already.
Signing for the Foals in the summer from Augsburg, in one of the best deals in the transfer market this year, Hahn has a wealth of Bundesliga experience despite just being 24 years old.
According to Transfermarkt, the German attacking midfielder picked up 12 goals and nine assists for his former club last season. If he can continue such form and even add to it whilst at Gladbach this season, then it will be hard for the Bundestrainer to resist.
Success stories are hard to come by at Stuttgart these days, but one player who could help put the club back on the German map is 21-year-old central defender Antonio Rudiger.
We of course saw the young player feature late on against Argentina on Wednesday night, suggesting that Low may have big plans for a defender with only one full Bundesliga season under his belt.
Rudiger has shown an incredible ability to defend with speed and precision throughout his time at Stuttgart and as we saw against Argentina, he is an exceptional threat in the air too.
A young man with his whole career ahead of him and the German national team beckoning.
Once upon a time there was a young man called Moritz Leitner at Dortmund, who possessed all the skill and talent to rival even Mario Gotze in the centre of the pitch. Unfortunately that man never got his shot under Jurgen Klopp and now he's plying his trade in Stuttgart, like a forgotten talent.
Fortunately for the 21-year-old, time is still on his side. And with a strong season with the troubled club under his belt, we should expect to see so much more from a German midfielder who offered so much in his earlier days. This year is when the former Dortmund star really has to push on.
If Leitner can recreate some of that promising talent on the pitch for Stuttgart this season, then Dortmund may just have to reconsider their evaluation of the player and Germany will almost certainly coming knocking.
Despite making over 100 Bundesliga appearances for Leverkusen, first-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno has never picked up a cap for the senior German national team.
The Factory Squad shot-stopper has always found himself below Weidenfeller and Neuer in regards to a senior goalkeeper position in the national team and has often found himself overlooked for the young, more expressive Ter Stegen.
Yet, as previously stated, Weidenfeller's days on the German bench are surely numbered. If Leno can prove to Low that he's a more appropriate option than the ageing Dortmund and fledgling Barcelona keepers, then he may just find himself as Germany's No.2 before the end of this season.
As most German football fans will know, Hoffenheim striker Kevin Volland made his debut for the German national team earlier this year in a 0-0 draw against Poland, ahead of the summer's World Cup.
The 22-year-old obviously just missed out on a spot in that trophy-winning squad and will be desperate to make up for it this season, with a return to form for his club side in the Bundesliga.
Germany are currently a little bare when it comes to strikers, as Mario Gomez so unimpressively demonstrated against Argentina recently, so the young striker should certainly feel as though there is space for him in a future side.
Is this Hoffenheim goalscorer the future face of Low's new attack?
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