Germany manager Joachim Low will be faced with a rather desirable problem of selecting midfielders for the first team during Euro 2016 in France, a problem that most managers would wish they had.
The current world champions seem to have an even stronger set of midfield players than two years ago during the World Cup in Brazil.
Low's team has always been known for its efficiency in moving the ball from defense to attack; playing as a single unit rather than individual players scrambling for the ball.
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Much of that credit is due the midfield players who always seem to be in sync with one another, helping the team operate like a well-oiled machine.
Brazil World Cup
The preferred formation adopted by Low during the 2014 World Cup was 4-2-3-1, with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira operating as the two holding midfielders in the center, with Toni Kroos occasionally taking one of those spots.
Due to the versatility and overlapping skills of the German players, several of them would occasionally switch positions with one another as required.
Kroos' main position was in attacking midfield, a position which he shared with Mesut Ozil and Mario Gotze.
When Miroslav Klose was included as the main striker, Thomas Muller was pushed out wide with the likes of Lukas Podolski, Ozil or Gotze taking up position on the other flank.
During the team's World Cup winning campaign, such was the strength of the team that even the established players such as Gotze, Andre Schurrle, and Podolski often could not find a place in the first team, although making telling contributions throughout the campaign.
Schurrle scored two goals during the 7-1 rout of hosts Brazil in the semi-final after coming on as a sub, whereas Gotze delivered the winning goal in the final against Argentina during extra-time, after being subbed on late into the game.
Christoph Kramer of Bayer Leverkusen made the occasional appearance as well, notably stepping in for Sami Khedira in the final after the Juventus man suffered an injury in training.
This immense strength in midfield provided the team with an extra layer of security, where substitutes comfortably slotted into the first team without any hassle when required.
Euro 2016 midfield options
All of the aforementioned midfielders were selected by Low in the team's provisional squad for this year's Euros.
Despite the injury to Dortmund defensive midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, not only will Die Mannschaft have available most of the same midfielders from the World Cup, they will be able to add to their strength in the middle of the park in the upcoming tournament in France, a frightening proposition for opposing teams.
Bayern Munich's young midfielder, Joshua Kimmich, has had a breakthrough season during 2015/2016 and will be the perfect replacement for Gundogan, having drawn similarities to the Manchester City midfielder with his ball-winning and defensive abilities in midfield.
Another exciting midfielder joining Germany's ranks will be Bayer Leverkusen winger Karim Bellarabi.
The 26-year-old has been instrumental in Leverkusen's consistent top four finishes over the last four seasons, two of them being third place finishes.
Despite being picked as a defender for the national side, Emre Can was predominantly used by Jurgen Klopp as a box-to-box midfielder in the Premier League, a position in which the 22-year-old thrived. The versatile midfielder can play anywhere in defense as well as in midfield, making him yet another possible option for the German midfield.
In addition to the above players, Julian Draxler adds further quality to the German side. The Wolfsburg midfielder was barely used in Brazil, making only a 14-minute substitute appearance in the game against the hosts.
Looking at the options available for Low, it will be a tricky task to assign midfielders to the first team.
Possible midfield shape
As mentioned earlier, Low has leaned towards the 4-2-3-1 formation in recent years, which has worked wonders for the team.
In a five-man midfield, Kroos and Khedira are likely to take up the two central midfield positions, with Schweinsteiger a very strong replacement option.
With a plethora of midfielders to choose from, Muller might be pushed up to spearhead the attack as a lone striker instead of veteran Mario Gomez. Although, Muller would have no trouble moving into the attacking midfield position or playing a wider role if Gomez is selected as the main striker.
Gotze could take up position on the right side of midfield, with Podolski slotting in on the left. However, both Bellarabi and Draxler will be competing for a wide spot in the team and could force their way into Low's starting XI.
Ozil is probably one of the very few players in the side who is guaranteed a place in the first team, having enjoyed his best season so far for Arsenal; scoring six goals and recording a staggering 19 assists, the highest in the league by six assists.
Evidently, Germany's attacking strength lies in their midfield and it is important to get the right combination of players in the center of the park.
They face Ukraine in their first game and Low has a few days prior to the competition to decide which players to feature in the starting eleven midfield.
Regardless of the manager's choice, the team fielded is sure to be a strong one.
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