The decision to leave Leroy Sane out of Germany's World Cup squad was taken because he failed to impress when on international duty, according to Miroslav Klose.
Sane enjoyed a remarkable season with Premier League winners Manchester City, scoring 10 times and setting up another 15.
Such impressive form resulted in him winning the Professional Footballers' Association's (PFA) Young Player of the Year award, while he was also nominated for the Players' Player of the Year.
Yet, his consistent excellence at club level was not enough to convince Germany head coach Joachim Low and his support staff – which includes Klose – to look beyond his failings with the national team.
Although Klose recognises the 22-year-old's prodigious ability, he simply feels Sane did not do enough in training or matches to usurp Julian Brandt.
"I said that we consulted with all coaches," Klose told reporters on Thursday. "He [Sane] knows that he is incredibly talented and that he brings a pace you don't see very often.
"He shows that in the Premier League, but, to be honest, he had many situations in training and during the games where he couldn't establish himself, like he did in the Premier League.
"I told you before, it was a hard decision. It was a decision for Julian [Brandt] and not against Leroy. It was really close."
Germany play their final World Cup preparation game against Saudi Arabia on Friday, before getting their title defence underway in a clash with Mexico on June 17.
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