Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre has waded into the debate about whether Mats Hummels should be recalled by Germany, insisting the in-form centre-back should be included for their upcoming internationals.
In the wake of a disastrous 2018 World Cup campaign in Russia, when the defending champions failed to get out of their group, Joachim Low booted Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Muller out of the Germany set up in March.
Hummels left Bayern Munich in June to resurrect his career at former club Dortmund, with whom he won the 2011 and 2012 Bundesliga titles, bringing much-needed stability and experience to their defence.
He underlined his impressive form by helping Dortmund to a 4-0 thrashing of Bayer Leverkusen last Saturday in the Bundesliga, then a Champions League goalless draw at home to Barcelona on Tuesday.
“After his last two games, it would be deserved – without discussion,” said Favre on Friday.
“It’s not up for us to decide, but the way Mats is playing now, it’s clear to me.”
Dortmund are at Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday and the 30-year-old Hummels is expected to again lead the back four having played every minute of Borussia’s last six games.
Germany’s defence was torn open by the Netherlands in last month’s 4-2 home defeat in a Euro 2020 qualifier and Bayern great Lothar Matthaeus also believes Hummels’ experience is an asset Low can ill-afford to ignore.
“When he plays like that, he’s one of the best central defenders in Germany,” said Sky pundit Matthaeus, Germany’s captain when they won the World Cup in 1990, after the draw with Barcelona.
If it had been up to the 58-year-old, Hummels “wouldn’t have been left out” of the Germany squad “at all”.
Germany host Argentina in a friendly in Dortmund on October 9 before qualifiers against Estonia, Belarus and Northern Ireland later this autumn with the Germans chasing top spot in their group.
Hummels is not waiting for a call from Low, telling magazine Sport Bild this week: “I try to think about it as little as possible. If it comes, it comes.
“I was always proud to play for Germany and nothing has changed.”
Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc agrees with Favre and Matthaeus.
“When we signed Hummels, I already said he is the best German central defender, that was before the season had even started,” said Zorc.
“I say it now and I think I’ll say it again in 2020.
“But at the end of the day, it’s up to the national coach to decide. The ball is in his court, not ours.”
Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac bemoaned his side’s inability to build on a ‘sensational’ first half after his side had to settle for a 1-1 Bundesliga draw at RB Leipzig.
Robert Lewandowski got the visitors off to a flying start after three minutes, but Bayern missed a string of good chances and Emil Forsberg equalised from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time.
The result was enough for Leipzig to stay top of the table and Kovac told a press conference: “We played sensationally in the first half – it was our best performance so far.
“At the end of the day, the result is annoying. We had more chances and we played well, but unfortunately we squandered two points. We’re looking on the bright side – we turned in a good display.”
🗣️ #Kovac: "In the first half we played sensationally. It was fantastic. We should have scored more goals, then we conceded after losing the ball far too easily. In the second half it was a more open battle, though we had more chances."— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) September 14, 2019
Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann praised his side for battling back from a poor start as they target their upcoming Champions League clash in Portugal.
Nagelsmann told his club’s official website: “We started very badly and had little access to the game after their goal.
“In the second half we were well in the game and created some good chances, and towards the end it went back and forth.
“This good feeling that we can now travel with to Lisbon will help us have a good game in the Champions League against Benfica.”
Provided by Press Association Sports
Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has insisted that English wonderkid Jadon Sancho has no intention to leave the club for Manchester United.
The 19-year-old was heavily linked with a move to the Premier League giants this summer and is said to be well within their sights next summer. Having taken the Bundesliga by storm by scoring 12 goals and providing 14 assists in his debut season it was only natural that the Manchester City academy product attracted interest from top European clubs.
However, Zorc believes that the player has no intention to leave for United in the summer.
“A hot topic right now is Sancho and Manchester United,” Zorc said in the Amazon Prime documentary ‘Inside Borussia Dortmund’ .
“Both his discussions with the club and mine with the consultants. A meeting did take place. Manchester United invited the consultant.
“But, according to what I know, the consultant told the club that no matter how much money they offer, we won’t let him go this summer. But the player also has no intention of taking that step this summer.”