PARIS: Didier Deschamps on Tuesday called up an uncapped trio of players including Barcelona centre-back Clement Lenglet for a 24-man squad for the world champions’ friendly against Bolivia on June 2, and Euro 2020 Group H matches against Turkey on June 8 and Andorra three days later.
Accompanying Lenglet in their bid for a first cap will be Lyon right-back Leo Dubois and Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan.
One noticeable absentee, however, is Marseille ‘keeper Steve Mandanda, as Deschamps took the unusual step of naming four shotstoppers as captain Hugo Lloris turns out for Tottenham in the Champions League final against Liverpool on June 1.
“It’s a choice of the moment,” Deschamps said of Mandanda’s absence.
“Steve has had a little bit of a complicated season with his club, he’s had some injuries and performances below what he’s capable of,” he said, with PSG’s Alphonse Areola in line to start against Bolivia.
Deschamps said the France team was evolving, although there were fewer changes to previous squads.
Personnel choices, he added in reference to Lenglet making the cut over Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte, “are sometimes tough”.
“I have choices to make with what I see, what I know with the backroom staff as well.
“Clement is totally composed, he’s very good technically,” Deschamps said, hailing the player’s sense of anticipation over his willingness to battle for the ball.
“He’s clean, he’s a Barcelona player. If he’s there and he plays, it’s because he obviously has many qualities.”
France’s 24-man squad for a friendly against Bolivia on June 2, and Euro 2020 Group H matches against Turkey on June 8 and Andorra three days later.
Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (Paris SG), Benjamin Lecomte (Montpellier), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/ENG), Mike Maignan (Lille)
Defenders: Lucas Digne (Everton/ENG), Leo Dubois (Lyon), Clement Lenglet (Barcelona/ESP), Ferland Mendy (Lyon), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart/GER), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona/ESP), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid/ESP), Kurt Zouma (Everton/ENG)
Midfielders: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea/ENG), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus/ITA), Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon), Paul Pogba (Manchester United/ENG), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham/ENG)
Forwards: Wissam Ben Yedder (Sevilla/ESP), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich/GER), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea/ENG), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Kylian Mbappe (Paris SG), Florian Thauvin (Marseille)