Di Salvo’s new-look U21 side features 15 uncapped players

By Peter Weis   @PeterVicey

Antonio di Salvo’s Germany U21 squad for the coming UEFA U21 qualification match over the coming international break was released on Friday. The German U21s will also host Ukraine for a friendly.

Following last summer’s disappointing group-stage-exit at the U21 Euros, an astounding 15 players who have not yet earned a cap at the country’s highest youth level. 

Brajan Gruda

Antonio di Salvo’s DFB Juniors kick off their qualification campaign for the 2025 UEFA U21 European Championship with a match against Kosovo in Pristina next week. There will also be an exhibition against the Ukraine in Saarbrücken. Last summer’s disappointing showing at the 2023 UEFA U21 Championship has led to the head-coach of Germany’s highest youth level selecting a largely experimental squad.

Players such as Jonas Urbig (Fürth) and Marco John (Hoffenheim), but have been called up before, but have not yet been capped at the U21 level. Felix Gebhardt (Regensburg), Jamil Siebert (Düsseldorf), Linus Gechter (Hertha BSC), Bright Arrey-Mbi (Hannover), and Colin Kleine-Bekel (Kiel), Clemens Riedel (Darmstadt), Maximilian Beier (Hoffenheim), Tim Breithaupt (FC Augsburg), Merlin Röhl (SC Freiburg), Paul Nebel (Karlsruher SC), Robert Wagner (Fürth), Brajan Gruda (Mainz) and Nick Woltemade (Bremen) are all new.

The team features Bundesliga starters Noah Atubolu (SC Freiburg) and Eric Martel (FC Köln). Two players who have recently broken through for their respective Bundesliga sides – Rohl of Freiburg and Gruda of Mainz – look to continue their upward trajectory for their club. Röhl has been starting for Freiburg whilst Gruda has done well in two consecutive relief appearances for Mainz. FSV trainer Bo Svensson has had top praise for the 19-year-old.

Noah Atubolu, SC Freiburg
Jonas Urbuig, SpVgg Greuther Fürth
Felix Gebhardt, SSV Jahn Regensburg

Jamil Siebert, Fortuna Düsseldorf
Nathaniel Brown, 1. FC Nürnberg
Linus Gechter, Hertha BSC
Bright Arrey-Mbi, Hannover 96
Marco John, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
Colin Kleine-Bekel, Holstein Kiel
Clemens Riedel, SV Darmstadt 98
Kenneth Schmidt, SC Freiburg

Maximilian Beier, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
Tim Breithaupt, FC Augsburg
Brajan Gruda, FSV Mainz 05
Ansgar Knauff, Eintracht Frankfurt
Eric Martel, FC Köln
Merlin Röhl, SC Freiburg
Paul Nebel, Karlsruhe SC
Youssoufa Moukoko, Borussia Dortmund
Robert Wagner, SpVgg Greuther Fürth
Tim Lemperle, SpVgg Greuther Fürth
Nick Woltemade, Werder Bremen
Nelson Weiper, FSV Mainz 05

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