Southampton’s Armel Bella-Kotchap (20) wasn’t expecting a call-up to the Germany squad and revealed that he was surprised by Hansi Flick’s phone call last week.
“I didn’t know the number,” said Bella-Kotchap upon arrival at the Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch in Frankfurt, where the Germany internationals are gathering ahead of their UEFA Nations League games against Hungary and England. “I was very surprised, but also very happy.”
Bella-Kotchap has played six Premier League games this season following his move to Southampton from Bochum for around €11m in the summer. Saints manager Ralph Hasenhüttl was full of praise for the defender: “Of all my players, he’s shown the most consistency so far.”
Since MD2, Bella-Kotchap hasn’t missed a single minute of football in the Premier League. Flick’s assistant, Danny Röhl, observed the central-defender in person during Southampton’s 2-1 win against Chelsea on August 30. Flick said: “Danny was surprised at how he developed.”
Germany play Hungary on 23 September and England on 26 September.