Liverpool’s uncapped midfielder Emre Can was on Friday called up to the Germany squad for the world champions’ forthcoming key Euro 2016 qualifiers against Poland and Scotland.
Germany host Group D leaders Poland in Frankfurt next Friday, with the global winners just one point behind in the table, then face third-placed Scotland in Glasgow on September 7.
Can was mainly used at right-back by Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers last season and will compete for that position as Germany coach Joachim Loew searches for a replacement for ex-captain Philipp Lahm at wing back.
The 21-year-old Can is the only uncapped player in the squad, which will be captained by Bastian Schweinsteiger for the first time since his transfer to Manchester United from Bayern Munich last month.
“Emre has developed well in Liverpool, he is flexible and has impressed us with his dynamic play. Now we want to get to know him better in the next few days,” explained Loew.
Bayern’s Manuel Neuer remains Loew’s first-choice, but Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been called up at the expense of Dortmund veteran Roman Weidenfeller.
The top two teams in each group qualify directly for Euro 2016 in France and Loew says the Germans must take the chance to go top by avenging their 2-0 defeat to Poland in Warsaw last October.
After winning the 2014 World Cup, Germany suffered a post-Brazil hangover as they struggled to a 2-1 win over Scotland in Dortmund, lost away to Poland, then leaked a late equaliser in their 1-1 home draw with Ireland.
“We still have things in our own hands, we want to meet our high expectations and take over the lead at the top of the table,” said Loew.
“Our goal is simply to win the next two games and I assume we’ll succeed.
“We gave away a few points at the start of the qualifying process, but there were reasons for that.
“We know what’s at stake and we want to shift up a gear. We’re ready.”
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona/ESP), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hanover 96)
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Emre Can (Liverpool/ENG), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Dortmund), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia/ESP), Sebastian Rudy (Hoffenheim)
Midfield: Karim Bellarabi (Bayer Leverkusen), lkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund), Christoph Kramer (Bayer Leverkusen), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid/ESP), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal/ENG), Lukas Podolski (Galatasaray/TUR), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schurrle (VfL Wolfsburg), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United/ENG)
Strikers: Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich), Max Kruse (VfL Wolfsburg), Kevin Volland (Hoffenheim)