FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Germany coach Joachim Loew made a surprising last-minute change in his preliminary World Cup squad on Wednesday, calling up midfielder Christoph Kramer and dropping forward Andre Hahn.
Loew also cut three players from the group that will go to a training camp next week.
Kramer, who plays for Borussia Moenchengladbach, made his international debut in the 0-0 draw against Poland on Tuesday.
Experienced defender Marcell Jansen of Hamburger SV and Schalke midfielders Leon Goretzka and Max Meyer were placed on call, but will not travel to the camp in northern Italy and the World Cup in Brazil unless a member of the squad suffers an injury.
Kramer was the unexpected beneficiary of the bland match against Poland. Loew said he needed back-up for the central midfield because several players are recovering from injury.
"This decision has nothing to do with the performance of Andre Hahn, we were very pleased with him," Loew said.
"The reasons are purely linked to the position. We have several central midfield players who have been injured recently and some who are coming off long layoffs. So we want to have another option and to be prepared for all eventualities. Christoph Kramer left a very good impression," Loew said.
Hahn is nominally an attacking midfielder, whose speed makes him a perfect counter-attacking player. He led Augsburg with 12 goals this season.
Continue reading this story on the...