Right on time, a youngster is making a late dash for England’s World Cup squad.
Fulham’s 17-year-old wünderkid Ryan Sessegnon is getting everyone excited after scoring 14 goals and counting in England’s second tier.
That’s all well and good, until you look at the midfield options Germany manager Joachim Low could call upon in Russia.
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If you’re feeling a bit blue then it’s probably best not to read on.
Germany will line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation at the tournament, with Timo Werner, Sandro Wagner, Lars Stindl or Mario Gomez leading the attack.
But as for the midfield, Low could pick using a dartboard and a blindfold and still come out with one of best units in Russia.
On paper, Low’s ideal five comprises of Leroy Sane, Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller playing ahead of Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira.
Bags of experience, game management and flair, capable of taking you apart with technique or pace.
Sane’s unrelenting march towards a 2020 Ballon d’Or award will be aided by Kroos’ metronomic passing and Khedira’s ability to put out fires.
Muller will end up with the golden boot despite only touching the ball eight times and Ozil will flourish in a German shirt before signing for Man United.
Injury is a cruel mistress, but Germany are more than equipped to cope with any bad luck.
Marco Reus and Mario Gotze have got themselves fit again for Borussia Dortmund, although the challenge will now be staying healthy.
Julian Draxler is still finding ways to shine at PSG despite competition for places in Paris meaning he’ll be linked to Arsenal once again in the summer before staying put.
Then you’ve got Mr. Consistent Ilkay Gundogan to keep things ticking over alongside Liverpool’s Emre Can.
The next generation
Are Germany just in the middle of a golden generation whose passing will see them clambering to call up Championship players? Not quite.
Bayer Leverkusen’s 18-year-old midfielder Kai Havertz and his 21-year-old team-mate Julian Brandt should ensure the future of German football is in safe hands.
Borussia Dortmund have their own dynamic duo in Mahmoud Dahoud and Julian Weigl, who are both 22 and already playing with composure well ahead of their years.
But the best of the lot could be future Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka who’s already boasting a one-in-two record for the national team, having been capped 12 times.
The Hoffenheim connection
Down on your luck? Struggling to find your way in Germany football? Then give Hoffenheim a call.
Serge Gnabry endured playing (or not playing) under Tony Pulis at West Brom but has forced his way onto the international stage via loan spells at Werder Bremen and Hoffenheim.
Hoffenheim have also been responsible for the re-birth of Kerem Demirbay, who was released by Dortmund as a youngster and forced to drop down to Germany’s fourth tier at one stage.
Never one to miss out on a bargain, Hoffenheim picked up Sebastian Rudy from Stuttgart on the cheap, before losing him to Bayern last summer.
The Hoff did manage to make a hefty profit on Kevin Volland, having signed him from 1860 Munich in 2012 before selling him on to Leverkusen in May 2016.
On that note, we’re off to call Hoffenheim and try and make a late dash for Russia. Aufwiedersehen.
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