Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels have been offered fresh hope that recalls to the Germany national side can be achieved, with Joachim Low leaving a European Championship door open.
The World Cup-winning trio have been overlooked for long periods as Germany seek to move forward with a younger generation.
Muller’s last outing saw him reach a century of caps, while 32-year-old defenders Boateng and Hummers have 76 and 70 apiece, and it could be that they are given opportunities to add to those collections heading towards this summer’s Euros.
What has been said?
Low has told Kicker when asked about wiping the slate clean for Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund stars: “Boateng is playing regularly and is good when he gets into a rhythm.
“Hummels has great organisational capabilities and can still play at the top level, I have no doubt about that.”
He added: “The character of Hummels and Muller is that they don't suppress others.
“In past generations, there were players who took on leadership roles alone and blocked out others, but Muller, for example, appreciates [Joshua] Kimmich as an engine, an energy provider and a motivator.”
When did Low rule older stars out?
The Germany boss, who has been in his current role since 2006, stated back in March 2019 that he would be freshening things up.
He had seen an ageing side flop at the 2018 World Cup, with the decision taken at that stage to move in a different direction.
Results have not been as positive as Low would like, with a humbling 6-0 defeat to Spain suffered last time out in the UEFA Nations League.
Germany are, however, not about to abandon a long-term project, with Low adding on the youngsters he is looking to bring through: “They are hungry and willing to learn and the future belongs to them.
“But we must give them space and time to develop and make mistakes.
“Muller, Boateng and Hummels also made mistakes prior to [the 2014 World Cup in] Brazil, they didn't become world champions overnight.”
The bigger picture
Low is in the process of piecing together his next squad selection, with 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Iceland, Romania and North Macedonia set to be taken in later this month.
Those fixtures will form part of Germany’s pre-Euros preparation, with a quest for continental glory due to be opened on June 15 against France before then going on to face Portugal and Hungary in a testing group.