Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovač has spoken out in defence of three of his key players, all of whom were indefinitely dropped from the Germany national team by Joachim Löw earlier in the week.
The 59-year-old made the bold decision on Tuesday, ahead of his side's opening Euro 2020 qualification matches against Serbia and the Netherlands later in the month. Germany were humiliated by a group stage exit in the 2018 World Cup, and were also relegated from the A tier in the inaugural UEFA Nations League competition last year.
Discussing Löw's decision to exclude Thomas Müller, Jérôme Boateng and Mats Hummels from the squad, via the club's official Twitter page, Kovač said: "I know my players were disappointed, just because of finality. To be thrown on the scrapheap at 29 and 30, respectively, is not right."
The 47-year-old's comments come after the club themselves questioned the timing of Löw's decision, and both Müller and Boateng issued statements calling into question the veteran coach's decision. Löw has said he's looking to build towards the future, and is looking to take a fresh approach with new players in a bid to turn around the side's poor run of form.
Of course, if the former Austria Wien boss leaves his post this summer in pursuit of a new challenge - Real Madrid are thought to be rather keen on acquiring his services - then the trio of Bayern stars could find themselves back in mix. It will be fascinating to see how they cope without the three players, and whether they can regain their formidable reputation.
Meanwhile, Die Roten have been dealt a blow ahead of their Champions League semi-final second-leg clash against Liverpool next week, after Arjen Robben limped out of a training session with a calf injury. The veteran winger had only recently recovered from fitness issues, and will be sorely missed by his side.