Could Deniz Undav and Maximilian Beier be outside bets for the Euros with Germany?

There are just over four months until the 2024 European Championship is held in Germany and Bundestrainer Julian Nagelsmann must be pondering his final squad as he looks to restore the Nationalmannschaft back to its former glory after a few years of disappointment. The striker role remains an area of concern, but the national coach does have in-form strikers in the Bundesliga should he choose to bring in a new face for the finals. Could VfB Stuttgart’s Deniz Undav or Hoffenheim’s Maximilian Beier be on his radar?

The decision of Hansi Flick to take Niclas Füllkrug to the World Cup in Qatar was based on the realisation that the long experiment with Kai Havertz as a ‘false nine’ had been a failure and the German national team was in need of a ‘proper’ number nine to lead the attack. The fact that the Werder Bremen striker was enjoying a great goalscoring season in the Bundesliga certainly helped his cause and even though he came from an unfashionable source, it was deemed a wise move given the circumstances. Füllkrug’s ten goals in thirteen international appearances have certainly justified the decision. 

Over the past few years the German national side have not been blessed with an abundance of quality strikers getting regular game time and goals for their clubs, but right now Nagelsmann does have two players pushing for a first call-up after impressing hugely in the Bundesliga so far this season. The new Bundestrainer has already shown a willingness to reward players in good club form with first call-ups already handed out to Marvin Ducksch, Chris Führich and Robert Andrich.

Could the final two friendlies in March against France and the Netherlands be an opportunity for Nagelsmann to reward in-form forwards with a chance to grab a wildcard spot in the squad for the finals?

Deniz Undav arrived at Stuttgart this summer on an initial loan from Premier League side Brighton with the intention of acting as an understudy to Serhou Guirassy and when the Guinean started the season in amazing goalscoring form (14 goals in 8 games), Undav’s place on the bench seemed set.

However, when he scored twice as a substitute in the matchday 6 win at Köln, he played himself into the side and when asked to compensate for the injured Guirassy, he hit the goal trail himself. Thirteen goals in seventeen matches so far makes the 27-year-old the highest scoring German in the Bundesliga (Füllkrug and Ducksch both have nine). Such has been his impact that Guirassy’s absence at the African Cup of Nations has not been felt too badly. 

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Born in Varel (north of Bremen), Undav was released by Werder Bremen as a youngster for being too short and then moved on to TSV Havelse and Eintracht Braunschweig II. He moved to Belgium with Meppen before joining Union St. Gilloise where he really came to the fore with 35 goals in 51 appearances. 

Brighton signed him for €7 million in January 2022, but he found regular game time hard to come by and signed his current loan deal with the Swabians in the summer. He is qualified to play for both Germany and Türkiye, but has recently made it clear he would like to represent his country of birth. Can Nagelsmann ignore him if his current form continues?

Another player grabbing the attention this season is 21-year-old Maximilian Beier at TSG Hoffenheim. The youngster, who returned to Sinsheim following a two-year loan at Hannover, was originally earmarked for a secondary role following the summer signings of both Wout Weghorst and Mergim Berisha, but six goals in the first eight Bundesliga matches saw him become a first-choice and he’s added two further goals to take his tally to eight with six assists.

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He has shown that he is ready to step up at club level and with a shortage of German forwards, the question being asked is whether he is perhaps ready to step up at international level as well. He has pace, is direct, is an excellent finisher and looks like a real raw talent. He is not a number nine built in the Füllkrug mode physically, but he has shown this season that size isn’t everything.   

Germany’s hunt for a genuine goalscoring number nine has been long and seen many tournament failures along the way. Now Bundestrainer Nagelsmann has a number of options available, it’s just a case of whether he is bold enough to give the likes of Undav and Beier a chance.  

About Mathew Burt 1053 Articles
Former writer at Goal.com and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball

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