Germany rest Mesut Ozil as Serge Gnabry gets first call-up

Germany will rest Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil for the upcoming games against San Marino and Italy, but Serge Gnabry has received his first call-up.

Germany coach Joachim Low has also included Bayer Leverkusen defender Benjamin Henrichs and Wolfsburg midfielder Yannick Gerhardt in the squad for the first time ahead of the 2018 World Cup qualifier against San Marino and the friendly against Italy.

Low is also set to allow Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos and Juventus' Sami Khedira an early return following the San Marino match.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had said resting Ozil would be "an intelligent decision" and Low said: "The players from the top international leagues don't have a winter break like we have in the Bundesliga, so it is good to allow players who are regulars at their clubs and for us a break."

Leverkusen's Julian Brandt, and the Schalke duo Max Meyer and Leon Goretzka are also part of the squad, with Goretzka receiving his first invitation in over two years, but Manchester City winger Leroy Sane will remain with the under-21 team.

Gnabry, who left Arsenal for Werder Bremen in the summer, is included after impressing with the Olympic side and in the early months of the Bundesliga season.

Following the San Marino match on Nov. 11, the Germany team is set to travel to Rome, where they have been invited to a private audience with Pope Francis on Nov. 14, with the game against Italy taking place the following day.

Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff said that the German FA feels "more than honoured" to have been invited by Pope Francis, adding that he expects an "emotional and special experience for every single one of us, but also for the team."

Germany squad

Keepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)

Defender: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Yannick Gerhardt (Wolfsburg), Jonas Hector (FC Cologne), Benjamin Henrichs (Bayer Leverkusen), Benedikt Howedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal), Sebastian Rudy (Hoffenheim), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen)

Midfielders and attackers: Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Serge Gnabry (Werder Bremen), Mario Gomez (Wolfsburg), Leon Goretzka (Schalke), Mario Gotze (Borussia Dortmund), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Max Meyer (Schalke), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Kevin Volland (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Weigl (Borussia Dortmund)