On Tuesday, Germany coach Joachim Löw announced his 27-man provisional squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. It is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-André ter Stegen (CF Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Paris St. Germain).
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Jonas Hector (1. FC Cologne), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha BSC Berlin), Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea FC), Niklas Süle (Bayern Munich), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen).
Midfield: Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Paris St. Germain), Leon Goretzka (Schalke 04), Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City), Sami Khedira (Juventus Turin), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Özil (Arsenal FC) Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Sebastian Rudy (Bayern Munich), Leroy Sané (Manchester City).
Strikers: Mario Gomez (VfB Stuttgart), Nils Petersen (SC Freiburg), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig).
This roster includes a number of surprises, not to say shocks.
While it is entirely understandable to nominate a fourth goalkeeper in Kevin Trapp to see whether or not Manuel Neuer is fit enough to play, after his injury last fall that prevented him from playing a single match since, other decisions are more controversial.
First, not calling up Sandro Wagner (Bayern Munich) in favor of Nils Petersen, who has no international experience apart from being an over-aged player at the last Olympics. There, he missed the decisive penalty in the final’s shootout against Brazil.
Secondly, granted, Borussia Dortmund did not have the best season this year, but does that really merit only calling up Marco Reus from their team? Have 2014 World Cup winning heroes such as Mario Götze or André Schürrle really nothing to offer this time around?
To be fair to Löw, he put what he saw as current form above big names, when choosing this squad.
Germany faces Mexico, Sweden and South Korea in its World Cup group.