Jonathan Tah replaces injured Antonio Rudiger in Germany squad
By Nick Lustig
Last Updated: 08/06/16 1:17pm
Bayer Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah has been named as Antonio Rudiger's replacement in Germany's squad for Euro 2016.
Rudiger tore a cruciate ligament in his right knee in training on Tuesday following a tussle with Thomas Muller and is expected to be out for around six months.
Tah's only appearance for his national side came in March in the 3-2 friendly defeat to England at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.
The 20-year-old was not included in manager Joachim Loew's provisional 27-man squad for the finals in France, but has been given the nod following the injury to Rudiger.
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Rudiger, who joined Roma on a permanent deal in May after a successful loan spell in the Italian capital, had been in line to start Germany's opening Group C match against Ukraine in Lille on Sunday with Mats Hummels struggling with a calf injury.
The 23-year-old had been a regular in Low's starting line-up, playing at the heart of the Germany defence alongside Jerome Boateng.
Loew has turned to the Bayer Leverkusen player Tah after he enjoyed a good Bundesliga season, hoping he can provide solutions to his injury-ridden backline that also includes centre-back Mats Hummels, as the world champions eye their first continental crown in 20 years.
"I wanted a one-on-one replacement for Rudiger, someone who can play a centre-back role," Loew said, praising Tah's individual fitness regime of the past three weeks despite not being called up in the preliminary squad last month.
"Players who were a key part of my plans a few months ago are now missing. Marco Reus, Ilkay Gundogan and now Rudiger. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mats Hummels are nursing injuries.
"Obviously I would have liked to have the squad I had imagined a few months ago. But that is not the case.
"But we won't be complaining. What is important is to find solutions and we are not lowering our target. We know where we want to go and this target will not shift."
Loew's men, who are chasing their fourth European Championship trophy but their first since 1996, play Ukraine, Northern Ireland and Poland in the group stage of the competition that starts on Friday.