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Brighton’s Gross earns maiden call-up for Germany’s September friendlies, Muller & Goretzka left out

Germany head coach Hansi Flick has announced his squad for the upcoming international friendlies in September against France and Japan.

Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Pascal Gross has been handed his maiden call-up to the senior squad, with his performances at the club level not going unnoticed.

The 32-year-old enjoyed his best-ever season last term, hitting double figures for goals and assists and also helping Brighton secure Europa League qualification.

The experienced midfielder will be looking to make the most of the opportunity with a long-term objective of sustaining his place in the European Championships next year.

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich duo Thomas Muller and Leon Goretzka have failed to make the cut.

After missing the previous two international breaks, Muller has been committed again by Flick.

The fourth-highest record appearance holder for Die Mannschaft is going through difficult times, having also been excluded from Bayern’s starting XI in the two Bundesliga games this season.

The former Bayern manager offered his thoughts on snubbing Goretzka, claiming he had held talks with the midfielder ahead of the decision.

“I spoke to him yesterday – he knows what I think and it’s nothing final,” Flick told BILD (h/t iMiaSanMia).

“I really appreciate Leon, but we have our thoughts. We want to see a reaction from the players who aren’t here.”

Kai Havertz, Serge Gnabry, Florian Wirtz and Niclas Fullkrug have been called up, but there is no place for Timo Werner in the squad.

Flick explained the decision not to include the RB Leipzig star, insisting that the forward is not in his best form but ensuring that he can make a comeback if he shows progress.

“He’s not quite in form at his club and has to work on certain things,” Flick added. “But if he does that, I’m convinced he can come back.”

Flick has understandably left Manuel Neuer out due to his fitness concerns, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Oliver Baumann and Kevin Trapp are the goalkeepers summoned.

Germany squad

Goalkeepers: Oliver Baumann, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Kevin Trapp.

Defenders: Robin Gosens, Benjamin Henrichs, Antonio Rudiger, Nico Schlotterbeck, Niklas Sule, Jonathan Tah, Malick Thiaw.

Midfielders: Emre Can, Joshua Kimmich, Felix Nmecha, Julian Brandt, Pascal Gross, Ilkay Gundogan.

Forwards: Jonas Hofmann, Jamal Musiala, Florian Wirtz, Kevin Schade, Leroy Sane, Kai Havertz, Serge Gnabry, Niclas Fullkrug.

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