Tah handed first Germany call


Bayer Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah has been handed his first call up to Germany's national team for the upcoming friendly matches against England and Italy.

With Jerome Boateng (groin) and Benedikt Howedes (thigh) absent with injury, head coach Joachim Low is short of options at centre-back.

Low has been monitoring the performances of 20-year-old Tah - a Germany Under-21 international - in the Bundesliga this season and has been impressed by his form for Leverkusen.

"Due to the injuries of Jerome Boateng and Bendikt Howedes we wanted another defensive option," Low told the German Football Association's official website.

"We have recently observed Jonathan Tah several times and are now eager to see how he represents himself for the country."

Missing out on the 27-man squad, though, is Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan who has been struggling with a foot injury, but captain Bastian Schweinsteiger and Bayern Munich forward Mario Gotze feature having recently returned from injury lay-offs.

"The two have fought back at their clubs after injuries," Low added. "As captain Bastian wanted to attend the internationals, his leadership is exemplary. 

"The game against England after his move to Manchester United is very special."

Low also reassured those missing out on selection that their hopes of appearing at Euro 2016 are not over.

"It is important for us to convey to the players now once again what we expect with the European Championship in front of them," he said.

"We have nominated a large squad. This does not mean that players who are now not going will be written off."

Germany host England in Berlin on March 26, before welcoming Italy to Munich's Allianz Arena three days later.


Germany squad to face England and Italy:

Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Paris Saint-Germain).

Defenders: Emre Can (Liverpool), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Dortmund), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia), Antonio Rudiger (Roma) Sebastian Rudy (Hoffenheim), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen).

Midfielders: Karim Bellarabi (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Wolfsburg), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Christoph Kramer (Bayer Leverkusen), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United).

Forwards: Mario Gomez (Besiktas), Mario Gotze (Bayern Munich), Max Kruse (Wolfsburg), Lukas Podolski (Galatasaray), Andre Schurrle (Wolfsburg), Kevin Volland (Hoffenheim).