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Sandro Wagner holds Germany selection in World Cup hopes on Bayern's bench

Bayern paid Hoffenheim around 13 million euros ($16m) for Wagner earlier this month and the burly 30-year-old has played just 24 minutes of Munich's two Bundesliga games so far in 2018.

Published: 25th January 2018 02:59 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th January 2018 02:59 PM   |  A+A-

Sandro Wagner | AP

By AFP

BERLIN: Sandro Wagner says his chances of making Germany's World Cup squad have improved even though he is now on Bayern Munich's bench as Robert Lewandowski's under-study.

Bayern paid Hoffenheim around 13 million euros ($16m) for Wagner earlier this month and the burly 30-year-old has played just 24 minutes of Munich's two Bundesliga games so far in 2018.

Wagner knows his prospects of playing for Bayern are low when Lewandowski, the Bundesliga's top-scorer with 17 goals in 18 league games, is fit.

Nevertheless, Wagner says his chances of making Germany's World Cup squad for Russia 2018 improved when he switched clubs.

"My chances are much better, because I play for the best German club," Wagner, who has a modest four goals in 13 league games, told magazine Sport Bild.

"It not a problem if I don't play for a few weeks.

"Sure, I would have played in 99 percent of Hoffenheim's matches.

"But now I play in international competition and the training is at a higher level." 

Wagner broke into the Germany squad when a young side minus their World Cup-winning stars lifted the Confederations Cup last July.

He has scored five goals in seven appearances for Germany and hopes to be selected for March's key home friendlies against Spain and Brazil.

Wagner is probably battling Stuttgart veteran Mario Gomez for a place in the World Cup squad as second-choice striker behind RB Leipzig's Timo Werner.

Wagner points to the example of his Bayern Munich team-mate Joshua Kimmich, who is now Germany's first-choice right back.

"He wasn't an undisputed regular when he went to the Euro 2016 (with Germany)," said Wagner of Kimmich.

"But an argument as to why he then got some momentum is the incredibly high level of training at Bayern."

Germany open the defence of the World Cup against Mexico in Moscow on June 17 and also face Sweden and South Korea in Group F.



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