Franz Beckenbauer has urged Joachim Low to reconsider his stance on Kevin Kuranyi after seeing the ostracised striker lead the Bundesliga goalscoring charts this season.
Kuranyi has not represented his country since a World Cup qualifier against Russia in October 2008 when the striker left the game in Dortmund before the final whistle having missed out on a place in the matchday squad.
While Beckenbauer feels Low was correct to punish Kuranyi for his behaviour, the man who coached Germany to World Cup glory in 1990 says growing concerns over Germany's attacking options mean Low must reassess the Schalke star's absence.
"Should the top goalscorer in the Bundesliga go to South Africa? In my opinion yes," Beckenbauer wrote in his column in Bild. "Joachim Low was right to respond how he did after Kuranyi's disappearance during the Russia game. This violation had to be punished severely.
"But that was in October 2008, 18 months ago. Joachim Low should not have banned the player from the national team so quickly. The 'life' punishment always seemed excessive. And now it is a problem for the national team.
"Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski are a long way from World Cup form, while Stefan Kiessling and Mario Gomez need to get match fit after injuries. In this situation, to ignore the top-scorer is wrong in my eyes.
"The DFB president Dr Theo Zwanziger and the coaching staff should sit down with Kevin Kuranyi to find a solution. If Joachim Low does a u-turn he deserves respect not criticism. One must always remember that the national team is not a matter of a few people who have a problem with each other. It belongs to us all."
It is believed that Low is considering a recall for Kuranyi and Schalke manager Felix Magath has confirmed the two are in dialogue. Magath is also adamant that Kuranyi deserves a second chance with the national side.
"They spoke last week after, I believe, meeting each other by chance," Magath told DSF. "As a trainer, one must constantly reconsider your decisions and sometimes change them. You have to do what is best for your team and Kevin is currently the best forward in Germany."
Kuranyi only made one appearance during the qualifying campaign for Germany. He has scored 17 goals in 27 league games for Schalke.