PARIS: New Paris St Germain defender Lucas Hernandez is set to make his first appearance for France since suffering a serious injury at last year’s World Cup after being named today in the squad for a September double-header against Ireland and Germany.
Hernandez, 27, was stretchered off early in France’s win over Australia in their opening game in Qatar last November with a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament.
He did not play again at the tournament as a result, or for Bayern Munich in the second half of last season, but moved to PSG in July for a reported €40 million and has started all three games so far in this campaign for his new club.
Arsenal centreback William Saliba is also back in the squad named by coach Didier Deschamps after missing the end of last season due to injury.
France are top of Euro 2024 qualifying Group B with four wins from four games before hosting Ireland in Paris next Thursday, Sept 7.
Ireland have just three points from three games and a French win will leave the World Cup runners-up on the brink of securing a place at next year’s finals in Germany.
The game is being played at the Parc des Princes with Les Bleus’ usual home at the Stade de France given over to the staging of Rugby World Cup matches.
Deschamps and his side will then head to Germany to play the Euro 2024 hosts in a friendly in Dortmund on Sept 12.
Among the players missing from the squad are Christopher Nkunku and Wesley Fofana, with the Chelsea duo both currently sidelined with knee injuries.
Deschamps has also chosen not to recall N’Golo Kante, despite the once key midfielder having shaken off the injury that ruined his last season at Chelsea.
Kante is now playing regularly for Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabia but is missing from the squad along with fellow 2018 World Cup winner Paul Pogba, who is also back playing again after an injury-hit last campaign.
“Kante has been playing regularly in a league that is of a good level thanks to the players who are there, but he is coming off the back of a season in which he hardly played at all,” said Deschamps.
“He is available to be called up but for this get-together I decided to stick with the younger players who have so far showed they can handle playing at the highest level.”
Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (West Ham United/ENG), Mike Maignan (AC Milan/ITA), Brice Samba (Lens)
Defenders: Axel Disasi (Chelsea/ENG), Lucas Hernandez (Paris St Germain), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan/ITA), Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool/ENG), Jules Kounde (Barcelona/ESP), Benjamin Pavard (Inter Milan/ITA), William Saliba (Arsenal/ENG), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich/GER)
Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid/ESP), Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Boubacar Kamara (Aston Villa/ENG), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus/ITA), Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid/ESP)
Forwards: Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich/GER), Ousmane Dembele (Paris St Germain), Olivier Giroud (AC Milan/ITA), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER), Kylian Mbappe (Paris St Germain), Marcus Thuram (Inter Milan/ITA)