Leroy Sane’s shock omission from Germany’s World Cup squad was a “tight” call, according to manager Joachim Low.
Manchester City winger Sane was expected to travel to Russia after an impressive campaign that concluded with him being named the PFA young player of the season.
Bernd Leno, Jonathan Tah and Nils Petersen have also been excluded after making the initial 27-man provisional squad but Marco Reus and Julian Brandt are on the plane.
Sane, 22, played the opening 67 minutes of Saturday’s 2-1 friendly defeat by Austria, and Low revealed how close he had come to making his final cut.
“In the end it was tight, both (Sane and Brandt) have great qualities, are fast and dribble,” he said at a press conference, quoted by sport.de.
“Julian Brandt had some good games at the Confederations Cup and was also very good in training, it was close.
“Leroy has a huge talent and he’ll be there again, and we’ll have to work more with him again from September onwards.
“He did well against Austria; he went backwards, switched quickly.
“We had to decide; the squad must be balanced, we cannot take a player away from a defensive position and say we take an offensive (player).
“If something happens at the back, we need alternatives, so I had to make that hard decision.”
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who on Saturday returned from nine months out injured, was among those retained, as were Premier League representatives Antonio Rudiger, Ilkay Gundogan and Mesut Ozil.
Neuer, 32, is expected to remain as captain, and first-choice goalkeeper, ahead of Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen.