National coach Hansi Flick has announced his line-up for the upcoming games in the World Cup qualification against Romania (October 8) and North Macedonia (October 11) – and he has decided against Ridle Baku from VfL Wolfsburg. The flank player was last in the squad for the game against Liechtenstein (2-0), then sat on the bench against Armenia (6-0) – and was even canceled entirely for the game in Iceland (4-0). Now he still has bad cards at Flick, who among others relies on Thilo Kehrer (Paris St. Germain), Lukas Klostermann (RB Leipzig) and David Raum (1899 Hoffenheim) on the full-back positions. Basically, Flick has reduced the squad from 26 to 23 players (20 field players and three goalkeepers) compared to the September cycle. “We only have two internationals and wanted to keep the squad smaller,” said the national coach.
On Thursday, Flick informed Baku and his club coach Mark van Bommel about the decision. “It’s a shame for Ridle,” said van Bommel, “because everyone wants to play for their country. And he’ll be able to do it again.” As? “By executing our game idea well with us – and then he depends on what the national coach needs.” Van Bommel did not want to talk about the addresses of the conversation with Flick – not even about whether Lukas Nmecha or Luca Waldschmidt were also an issue. Both are considered to be flick candidates in perspective.
While Baku could be used more as a full-back in the DFB team, he was mostly offensive at VfL recently, having shown increasing form again after a small low at 1: 3 in Hoffenheim – in the left wing position unfamiliar for the right footed. “Ridle is a player with good skills who was nominated for the national team,” van Bommel said afterwards. But I’m not worried about him. “
National coach Flick mainly relies on the players of his nine-point starts in the three games he won against Liechtenstein, Armenia and Iceland. The largest block in the line-up is again FC Bayern with eight players. As returnees, the DFB coach keeper Marc-André ter Stegen (FC Barcelona) and Matthias Ginter (Borussia Mönchengladbach) are available again. The national team will meet in Hamburg next Monday. BVB professional Mats Hummels as well as the injured Robin Gosens (Atalanta Bergamo) and Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) are not there this time.
Thanks to a strong start in Flick’s tenure as Löw’s successor, the DFB selection is in a decent starting position in the race for a direct ticket to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. After the games in October there will be a qualifying double pack against Liechtenstein (November 11 in Wolfsburg) and Armenia (November 14th) for the final qualifying games.