Germany have called up forward Sidney Sam to add more punch to their attack against Scotland on Sunday after a string of absences and lack of firepower contributed to a 4-2 defeat by Argentina on Wednesday.
With the World Cup winners looking far from their polished best and missing several key players, coach Joachim Löw wants more goal threat for his team’s first Euro 2016 qualifier in Dortmund.
Lightning-quick Schalke 04 forward Sam will increase Löw’s options after Mario Gomez, back from a long injury absence that caused him to miss the World Cup, squandered three clear chances against Argentina and was jeered by his own fans during the game.
With record goalscorer Miroslav Klose having retired from international football, Gomez was Germany’s only out-and-out striker.
“You could see that a large number of our players only had a short preparation this season,” Löw said after the friendly loss in Düsseldorf to Germany’s World Cup final opponents.
“We only had two days together as a team and, on top of that, we were missing a lot of players who cannot be replaced that easily.
“Mario was out injured for seven months and has played only one competitive game this season so far.
“There is no way he could already be in top form.”
Löw will also be without Mesut Ozil and Mats Hummels against Scotland, joining Bastian Schweinsteiger, among others, on the sidelines.
Julian Draxler has been ruled out with a muscle injury picked up against Argentina and defender Jerome Boateng is doubtful.
“I hope that at least Jerome can be at our disposal against Scotland,” said the 54-year-old coach. “But I am not worried at all. We need a bit of patience for the defence to find a good footing,” he said after Argentine Angel Di Maria charged down the wings, setting up three goals before scoring the fourth.
“On Sunday it will be a completely different game from our side,” Löw said.
Sam played for Bayer Leverkusen last season and has five caps for his country. His first appearance for Germany came in May 2013 during a 4-2 friendly win over Ecuador in the USA, while his last came in last November’s 1-0 win against England.
Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker said the defeat by Argentina would serve as an essential warning ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.
Mertesacker watched from the stands as the world champions were dismantled. Together with Philipp Lahm and Klose, he was given a retirement send-off prior to the game, and that proved to be the only highlight of the night for the home fans.
“This was a wake-up call for the first qualifying matches,” Mertesacker told Germany’s ZDF television. “This is what the team needs – it will do us good for Sunday.”