Dortmund - Germany head coach Joachim Loew on Thursday ruled out recalling Mats Hummels as injury cover for next month's key Euro 2020 qualifiers with the Germans still hunting a finals berth.
There have been calls for Loew to reinstate Hummels to the national squad for November's games against Belarus and Northern Ireland, especially with first-choice centre-back Niklas Suele ruled out for six months.
The 30-year-old Hummels has rebooted his career since leaving Bayern Munich in the summer to return to Borussia Dortmund, the club he represented 225 times between 2009 and 2016, having been told by Loew in March that his Germany days are over.
However, despite a series of eye-catching performances, Loew insisted that recalling Hummels is "not a topic at the moment" with Germany needing to win both of their remaining qualifiers to confirm their berth at the Euro 2020 finals.
Loew has experimented with Freiburg's Robin Koch, Bayer Leverkusen's Jonathan Tah, Thilo Kehrer of Paris St. Germain, all 23 years old, plus Hertha Berlin defender Niklas Stark, 24, and Matthias Ginter, 25, of Moenchengladbach in recent internationals.
"I have said that I am betting on young players and you have to throw them in at the deep end," added Loew at an event in Wolfsburg.
"One should not throw all plans now out of the window, just because this or that player is hurt.
"I hope a few players will return from injury, but we already have a few very young and good defenders, that we can develop over the next few months."
However, Germany fans disagree as a survey published Monday by Kicker magazine showed 77 percent of 96,000 people who responded want Hummels back in Germany's white shirt.