Mario Gomez, the only out-and-out striker in Germany's squad, has been ruled out of the rest of UEFA EURO 2016. Steffen Potter runs through Joachim Löw's options.
Article top media content
Following the euphoria of Germany's nail-biting triumph over Italy, Joachim Löw's men have been dealt a real blow after Mario Gomez was ruled out of the rest of UEFA EURO 2016.
The Beşiktaş forward, Germany's top scorer in France with two goals, tore muscle fibres in his right thigh not long after carving out Mesut Özil's goal in Saturday's Bordeaux quarter-final with a fine through-the-eye-of-a-needle pass.
"[Gomez] has performed very well at the EURO and helped the team not only with his goals," said coach Löw. "For us, this means accepting the new situation and finding solutions. And we will do. The squad is full of quality and I have full confidence in all my players."
Löw also has fitness concerns over captain Bastian Schweinsteiger (knee ligaments) and Sami Khedira (thigh), both rated doubtful for Thursday's semi-final against either France or Iceland in Marseille. Mats Hummels is suspended.
It won't be easy. The 30-year-old Gomez is the only out-and-out striker in the world champions' squad and provides a target man in front of midfield, keeping central defenders busy and freeing space for others to exploit. Perhaps only Thomas Müller can offer that now, yet the Bayern München man has never scored a EURO finals goal. Götze is another option, though when he started in attack against Poland, Germany drew a blank.
Losing both Schweinsteiger and Khedira also poses a big problem: they are each other's potential back-up. Their most likely replacement would be talented but untested 20-year-old Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Weigl. What a time to win your second cap!