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Southampton's Bella-Kotchap gets chance with Germany as World Cup nears

Matt Watson / Southampton FC / Getty

Berlin, Sept 15, 2022 (AFP) - Germany coach Hansi Flick has included uncapped Southampton defender Armel Bella-Kotchap in his 24-man squad for the upcoming Nations League fixtures, the team's final games before the World Cup.

Germany will take on Hungary on Sept. 23 before travelling to face England three days later.

Bella-Kotchap, 20, could be in line for his Germany debut after receiving his first call-up, but Borussia Dortmund forward Karim Adeyemi misses out having struggled with a toe injury to start the season.

Paris-born Bella-Kotchap, who made the move to Southampton from Bundesliga side Bochum in the summer, will vie for a spot in defence alongside Dortmund duo Nico Schlotterbeck and Niklas Sule, Real Madrid centre-back Antonio Rudiger, West Ham's Thilo Kehrer, and Freiburg's Matthias Ginter.

"We want him in our circle. He has developed well at Southampton. He has defended well in the Premier League," Flick told Germany daily Bild.

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been recalled to the squad after recovering from injury.

Along with Adeyemi, Mainz midfielder Anton Stach also missed out on selection, with Flick having reduced the size of the squad from 26 to 24 players.

Timo Werner, who returned to Germany to sign with RB Leipzig from Chelsea in order to get more game time ahead of the World Cup, has also been included.

Flick acknowledged there was no return for 2014 World Cup winners Mario Gotze and Mats Hummels.

He said, however, both still had the chance to "jump on the World Cup train," adding that Dortmund defender Hummels "looks very fit" after his return from a knee issue.

Full squad

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Defenders: Armel Bella-Kotchap (Southampton), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Robin Gosens (Inter Milan), Thilo Kehrer (West Ham), David Raum (RB Leipzig), Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid), Nico Schlotterbeck, Niklas Sule (both Borussia Dortmund)

Midfielders/Attackers: Julian Brandt, Marco Reus (both Borussia Dortmund), Serge Gnabry, Leon Goretzka, Leroy Sane, Joshua Kimmich, Thomas Muller, Jamal Musiala (all Bayern Munich), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Monchengladbach), Lukas Nmecha (Wolfsburg), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig), Kai Havertz (Chelsea)

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