Germany forward Leroy Sane has claimed that compatriot Mesut Ozil "needs some space" following the Arsenal midfielder's decision to step down from the national team.
On Sunday, Ozil announced that he would no longer play for Die Mannschaft, citing "racism and disrespect" within the country's football setup.
The 29-year-old stated that he received hate mail and threats following his photograph with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and felt that he was scapegoated following Germany's lacklustre World Cup campaign.
Sane, who did not make Germany's 23-man squad for Russia 2018 despite a superb season for Manchester City, stressed that Ozil will need time to come to terms with his decision, just like he had to following Joachim Low's snub.
"I know how it is, when I wasn't in the squad and when I wasn't involved," Sane told ESPN. "I think everyone needs some space.
"I wasn't also sitting on my phone and responding to everyone who texted me because I needed my time to calm down and think about everything and that's the same that I let happen to them. Give them some space and time with their family.
"I think it's his decision and everything else we leave for him [to say]."
Ozil has won 92 caps for Germany since his debut in 2009, scoring 23 goals in the process.