There are still 69 days until the first group game at the World Cup in Qatar against Japan for the German national soccer team. There are no longer many opportunities to try something or to rehearse until then. From next Monday, however, Hansi Flick, the national coach, will have his players around for a few more days.

The Nations League games against Hungary (September 23) and England (September 26) are coming up. Flick nominated the squad for this on Thursday – and had a surprise ready: Armel Bella-Kotchap is part of the senior national team for the first time.

The 20-year-old central defender switched from VfL Bochum to FC Southampton in the English Premier League during the summer break. So far he has made five appearances in the German U18 team and nine in the U19s. “We want to see him in our circle. He has developed well, ”said national coach Flick in a media round.

Flick otherwise relies on tried and tested personnel. Robin Gosens (Inter Milan), Matthias Ginter (SC Freiburg) and Marc-André ter Stegen (FC Barcelona), who were absent from the squad against Hungary, Italy and England in June, are back. Flick emphasized on Thursday that the door regarding the World Cup squad would still be open. He said that when asked about Mario Götze (Eintracht Frankfurt) or Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund). He saw Hummels live in the stadium on Wednesday evening in the BVB game against Manchester City (1: 2) in the Champions League. The national coach was very impressed by the performance of the 2014 world champion. “Mats looks very fit. He was a good support for his team. He still has every chance of making the squad for the World Cup,” said Flick, who watched Liverpool FC’s game against Ajax Amsterdam on Tuesday.

The 57-year-old also let it be known that the players had deliberately been left alone in the past few weeks. They should clear their minds on vacation and concentrate on their club. But now, according to Flick, the countdown to the World Cup would begin. With the coaching team, he will now take a closer look. “Of course we want to see a performance, but also a development,” said the national coach, who indicated with a view to the World Cup squad that one is still looking for a player who could be responsible for special moments in the tournament.

The meeting point for the national players next Monday is the Kempinski Hotel in Frankfurt. Before there is a first training on Tuesday, there are marketing measures. Training takes place on the newly built DFB campus. Employees are allowed to watch the first exercise session, all subsequent sessions are not open to the public. On Thursday, the DFB entourage will travel to Leipzig, where the game against Hungary (8.45 p.m. / ZDF) will take place the following day.

When the internationals return to their clubs after the game in London against England, the next meeting at the DFB is scheduled for November 13 in Frankfurt. On the night of November 14, Flick, the supervisors and the 26 players nominated for the World Cup squad will fly to the training camp – where they will go is still open. A last test match is planned for November 16th, before going to the World Cup Hotel Zulal Wellness Resort in Qatar on November 18th.

Probably at the beginning of the week of the opening game between Qatar and Ecuador (November 20), the teams have to report their final squads to the world association. In contrast to his predecessors, Flick will initially not be able to name more than the 26 players allowed, and then reduce them before leaving for the World Cup country.

Goal: Manuel Neuer (FC Bayern Munich), Marc-André ter Stegen (FC Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Defense: Armel Bella-Kotchap (FC Southampton), Matthias Ginter (SC Freiburg), Robin Gosens (Inter Milan), Thilo Kehrer (West Ham United), David Raum (RB Leipzig), Antonio Rüdiger (Real Madrid), Nico Schlotterbeck ( Borussia Dortmund), Niklas Sule (Borussia Dortmund)

Midfield/attack: Julian Brandt (Borussia Dortmund), Serge Gnabry (FC Bayern Munich), Leon Goretzka (FC Bayern Munich), Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City), Kai Havertz (FC Chelasea), Jonas Hofmann (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Joshua Kimmich (FC Bayern Munich), Thomas Müller (FC Bayern Munich), Jamal Musiala (FC Bayern Munich), Lukas Nmecha (VfL Wolfsburg), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Leroy Sané (FC Bayern Munich), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig)