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World champs Germany go for youth in preliminary Euro 2016 squad

Last updated on: May 18, 2016 14:19 IST
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 (From left) Germany's Thomas Mueller, Andre Schuerrle, Toni Kroos and Jerome Boateng

IMAGE: (From left) Germany's Thomas Mueller, Andre Schuerrle, Toni Kroos and Jerome Boateng. Photograph: Ina Fassbender/Reuters

Germany coach Joachim Loew has named four talented youngsters, including three uncapped players, in his preliminary 27-man squad for Euro 2016.

Versatile midfielder Joshua Kimmich, striker Leroy Sane, Julian Weigl -- another midfielder -- and wide man Julian Brandt were all included when Loew announced his provisional squad on Tuesday.

Sane, 20, is the only one of the quartet to have earned a senior cap, making his national debut as a substitute against France in November 2015. He scored eight times this season and his explosive speed and skills were rare bright spots in Schalke's otherwise disappointing season.

Twenty-one-year-old Kimmich, who played at both centre back and as a holding midfielder for champions Bayern Munich, earned repeated praise from his coach, Pep Guardiola, during his first season at the club.

Borussia Dortmund's Julian Weigl enjoyed a superb Bundesliga debut season as his club finished second, while fellow 20-year-old Julian Brandt's nine goals earned Bayer Leverkusen third spot.

"Now it is about forging a unit, to tune everyone towards the same, common goal," Loew told reporters at the French Embassy in Berlin, where the presentation took place.

"The collective is more important than every single individual player ... We know we are strong but not invincible, so we have to work during our training camp."

Injured captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, who is racing to be fit for the tournament in France, was also included in Loew's provisional list, as were a dozen of their 2014 World Cup winners, including Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos, Thomas Mueller and keeper Manuel Neuer.

However, there was no room for some of the other World Cup winners, including Christoph Kramer and Matthias Ginter.

Loew added: "There were some difficult phone calls I had to make but that comes with the job. Obviously those lads not going to France were bitterly disappointed."

The final squad will be announced on May 31, he said.

Germany face Ukraine, Poland and Northern Ireland in Group C of the competition, starting on June 10.

Full squad:

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 Hoewedes (Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia), Sebastian Rudy (Hoffenheim), Antonio Ruediger (Roma)

Midfielders: Karim Bellarabi (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (VfL Wolfsburg), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Lukas Podolski (Galatasaray), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schuerrle (VfL Wolfsburg), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United), Julian Weigl (Borussia Dortmund), Mario Gomez (Besiktas), Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich), Leroy Sane (Schalke 04)

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