Germany have announced their squads for the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia and Under-21 European Championship in Poland, with Arsenal's Shkodran Mustafi, Emre Can of Liverpool and Manchester City's Leroy Sane included in the former.
With the majority of the key players rested one year prior to the 2018 World Cup, Paris Saint-Germain's Julian Draxler stars in the senior squad. Sane, eligible to play for both teams, will also go to the Confederations Cup. Former Arsenal player Serge Gnabry and Schalke's Max Meyer lead the under-21 squad.
With the 2014 World Cup winners Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Andre Schurrle, Mario Gotze and Benedikt Howedes all rested or unavailable for selection, Joachim Low faced a selection dilemma.
"Three tournaments in three years are borderline," Low said at a news conference in Frankfurt, explaining why he rested several players. "The 2018 World Cup stands above everything else."
Borussia Dortmund winger Marco Reus had initially been wanted by Low to be one of the cornerstones of the squad, but citing the 27-year-old's injury history both sides agreed to allow him a full summer break this summer. His BVB teammate Julian Weigl was ruled out last weekend when he broke his ankle.
"It's a shame that Julian Weigl misses this. He could have played a central role for us," Low said, and added: "I would have loved to have Marco Reus at a tournament, but I had to weigh up the risks. And Marco was personally hit by missing the last two tournaments in 2014 and 2016. His big goal is the 2018 World Cup to show himself on the big stage."
Three Premier League players -- Mustafi, Can and Sane -- were called up to the squad, but Low said that he hoped Draxler could emerge as a new leader.
"Especially Julian Draxler, who played a great season at Paris, and made a big step there," Low said when asked about the potential leader of the experimental squad, which features six debutants.
Leon Goretzka is one of the players eligible to play both for the under-21 team and the senior squad making the trip to Russia, and Low said: "It's important he gets used to the national team. He could play a role for us in Russia."
Schalke midfielder Meyer and Bremen winger Gnabry were called up to the under-21 squad as potential leaders for the Euros in Poland.
"I told Gnabry, 'You can be a leader at the under-21,'" Low said, adding that just like Sane, he has a future in the senior team.
Germany face Australia, Chile and Cameroon at the 2017 Confederations Cup. Russia, New Zealand, Portugal and Mexico make up the other group.
Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (PSG)
Defenders: Matthias Ginter (Borussia Dortmund), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Benjamin Henrichs (Bayer Leverkusen), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Niklas Sule (Hoffenheim), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha Berlin), Skhodran Mustafi (Arsenal), Antonio Rudiger (AS Roma)
Midfielders/attackers: Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Emre Can (Liverpool), Kerem Demirbay (Hoffenheim), Diego Demme (RB Leipzig), Julian Draxler (PSG), Leon Goretzka (Schalke), Sebastian Rudy (Hoffenheim), Leroy Sane (Manchester City), Lars Stindl (Borussia Monchengladbach), Sandro Wagner (Hoffenheim), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig), Amim Younes (Ajax)