Former Germany captain Michael Ballack "can't understand" Joachim Low's decision to not select Leroy Sane for the World Cup and thinks the Manchester City star needs to be careful with how he deals with the disappointment.
Sane enjoyed an exceptional season with City in the 2017-18 campaign, scoring 10 times and setting up another 15 goals in the Premier League, just one less than team-mate Kevin De Bruyne.
That form saw him win the Professional Footballers' Association's (PFA) Young Player of the Year award, while he was also nominated for the Players' Player of the Year prize.
Sane was, as expected, called up to Low's preliminary squad, but the coach caused something of a stir on Monday when he finalised his selection of 23 players and ignored the 22-year-old, baffling Ballack.
"That is the question now, how he [Sane] handles that knock," Ballack told Betfair.
"It would affect him personally more than it would the national team because the national team is settled. They are not relying just on Sane – there are a lot of good players.
"How he handles this now is the next step in his career. How he can deal with not being selected. It was a big dream to be part of that.
"It is up to [Manchester City boss] Pep Guardiola now maybe to talk to him and sort things out in his head, if there are some things. We will see. Nobody really knows. It's a disappointment for a young kid.
"Football-wise, I can't understand the decision because Leroy Sane is an exceptional young player who had a huge development in the last season.
"He's really quick and adapted well to the Premier League, and he is playing for a big club with big players and playing a very good role in that team.
"There are some rumours about some things, but this is just speculation - the attitude in training, and the Confederations Cup that he wasn't part of because of his operation.
"A coach has to decide how important that was, how angry he is. But there were no signs outside that he is doubtful or that he was a problem in the squad. That's why it was so surprising for so many people."