Mario Gomez's international days appeared numbered in the summer, but a move to Beşiktaş and a return to form earned him a recall. Is he the man to lead the Germany attack?
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Germany coach Joachim Löw has selected two uncapped players in his squad for mouth-watering friendlies against France and the Netherlands, but it is the appearance of a not-so-new name that has attracted most interest.
Mario Gomez's international career looked all but over during the summer. Even if the disappointment of missing the victorious FIFA World Cup in Brazil was still raw, it was almost a year since his last outing for the Mannschaft and a recall looked a little removed.
The 30-year-old opted for a fresh start, departing Fiorentina on loan for Beşiktaş. It has proved an inspired decision. Nine goals in 15 appearances in Turkey have helped the Black Eagles to the top of the Süper Lig and left them unbeaten in the UEFA Europa League.
The return to form also caught the attention of Joachim Löw and, on Friday in France, Gomez could win his 61st cap some 436 days after his 60th. Germany played UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying without a recognised striker and many believe they have been crying out for an efficient goal getter.
This is Gomez's chance to stake his claim as the man to recover the lost dimension, to book a place in next summer's squad for France. "Every match is important to me," he said. "The past two years haven't been great. I haven't enjoyed myself much; I didn't have the fitness."
The former Bayern München striker credits the Beşiktaş facilities and coach Senol Günes for getting back into shape and Löw, who recently travelled to Turkey to see Gomez first hand, is impressed. "He has good body language. His movement is fantastic, likewise his fitness. You can feel his confidence."
Uncapped pair Leroy Sané and Kevin Trapp are Germany's two newcomers, but rejuvenated Gomez feels like a third. "I want to enjoy this, but it is just the beginning."