Six years after Germany’s triumph at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil both Andre Schürrle and Benedikt Höwedes have decided to hang up their boots and retire from professional football. There are however plenty of other members of that victorious German squad, who are having the decision as to their future taken out of their hands. From being frozen out, dropped, contracts not extended, meet the unwanted Weltmeister.
Winning the World Cup has to be the pinnacle of any footballer’s career, but with peaks, there have to be troughs and in the case of certain members of Joachim Löw’s 2015 champions, that trough is being experienced right now.
The scorer of the magical winning goal in Rio is currently unemployed after Borussia Dortmund didn’t offer him a new deal at the end of the season. Götze is looking for a new club ahead of next season with a move to Serie A touted as well as reported interest from Monaco and their new coach Niko Kovac.
The 28-year-old is by no means a spent force and could surely get his faltering career back on track somewhere. The question now is where will Super Mario call home next season?
Özil is still Arsenal’s highest-paid player earning a reported €385,000 per week despite not being part of Gunners’ manager Mikel Arteta’s first team plans. The 31-year-old midfielder hasn’t appeared in the Arsenal side for a single minute since the Corona virus restart in England and over the season as a whole has only scored one goal and provided two assists in his 18 starts.
His contract in London runs to the end of next season, but Arsenal would ideally like to part company so as to remove his huge wage from their budget. Having joined the club for €47 million in 2013, his market value has now dropped to around €12 million.
The 33-year-old has just finished his fifth season in Italy with Juventus, but the signs are that it will be his last. He has been limited to just nine starts this season after undergoing knee surgery in December and suffering an adductor injury in June. Media reports in Italy claim he and the club are looking to annul his contract which runs until July 2021 with the option to extend by a year. A return to Germany could be on the cards with Turkish side Fenerbahce also rumoured to be interested.
The 26-year-old’s future at Paris St. Germain only seems secure until the French giants have concluded their Champions League campaign with trainer Thomas Tuchel saying that they will take after that. He joined the club in 2017 for €36 million but has fallen down the pecking order in the French capital playing the full 90 minutes just eight times last season.
PSG may wish to cash in on his €24 million transfer valuation before his contract expires at the end of next season. Draxler has never really achieved his full potential in France, so will be weighing up his options carefully, but it does look like his time in Paris is up. Not wanted by PSG, but there will be no shortage of takers if he does depart.
The goalkeeper who provided back-up for Manuel Neuer and Roman Weidenfeller in 2014 has just been informed by Hannover that Michael Esser is going to be the club’s number one next season and if he wants regular first team action, then it will have to be away from the Niedersachsen club.
Union Berlin have been touted as a potential destination, but the once much-vaunted keeper has fallen completely out of favour under Kenan Kocak at second division Hannover.
To me Erik Durm is one of those obscure answers you pull out of the bag in a quiz when looking for random players with World Cup winners’ medals. You have to ask yourself- ‘how?’
Wherever he’s been, he has just been a squad player and after a spell in England at Huddersfield joined Eintracht Frankfurt on a free last summer. He made just six starts last season for the Adler and a departure from the Commerzbank Arena after just one season is not out of the question.
Another of Arsenal’s German contingent, who could be cut loose this summer. The 28-year-old suffers from a bad reputation in the Premier League as being a little too error prone and this season has made just 15 Premier League appearances for the Gunners.
He was one of the surprise inclusions in Jogi Löw’s 2014 squad, but it would come as no surprise if Arsenal were to sell him this summer. The 28-year-old’s contract ends at the end of next season and is valued at some €15 million.