Joshua Kimmich says Joachim Low's handling of the decision to sideline Bayern Munich team-mates Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng from Germany duty "was not okay".
Low explained that his ruthless decision was borne out of a desire to blood Die Mannschaft's future following a dismal 2018 that saw Germany's World Cup defence end in group-stage disgrace, while they were also relegated from the top-tier of the inaugural Nations League.
Bayern later released a statement saying they were "irritated" by the timing of Low's decision, which came before Saturday's 6-0 Bundesliga hammering of Wolfsburg and the upcoming Champions League last-16 second leg against Liverpool – a tie locked at 0-0.
Muller himself admitted he was angered, while Bayern coach Niko Kovac said it "wasn't right" and Kimmich has questioned Low's thought process.
"I first heard about it from the press, one day later the three boys told me," Kimmich told reporters after the Wolfsburg game. "Yes, I was [surprised].
"I know the national team only with these three players. Over the past 10 years, they have shaped the team and made us world champions. They are also my team-mates.
"From a player's point of view, the way was not okay, so I understand that the guys are disappointed.
"Especially when you consider that they are only 29 and 30 years old. Thomas has made 100 games for Germany, for example. Then you have earned another departure.
"Football is often talked about old and young - I think that none of the boys are too old to play in the national team."
All three ostracised players were involved against Wolfsburg, with Muller scoring Bayern's fourth goal, and Kimmich felt the trio were playing with a point to prove.
"You do not shake things off that easily," he added.
"I am a national player myself and I know how special it is to play for Germany.
"I do not think you can get that out of your head after two days, but they showed what they got. They have played a very good game."