Three novices including Khéphren Thuram and Wesley Fofana received their first summons to the France team on Thursday for the March rally, alongside Olivier Giroud, recalled at the age of 36 by coach Didier Deschamps. Deprived of Hugo Lloris and Raphaël Varane, who have retired from international football, Deschamps has also selected goalkeeper Brice Samba for the first time for the start of qualifying for Euro 2024. Les Bleus face the Netherlands on March 24 in Saint-Denis and will challenge Ireland on the 27th.
Injuries – current or recent – have left several executives on the floor (Lucas Hernandez, Ousmane Dembélé, Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kanté, Ferland Mendy, Christopher Nkunku, etc.), which has allowed the coach to inject new blood for this first post-World stage.
"The group, due to the stoppage of the international career of several players, would have had to be rejuvenated, with less experience, but always in a sporting logic", declared Didier Deschamps during a press conference. "In my mind, there is always to prepare for the medium term, so it means seeing players in the group and on the pitch, to have answers for the future while maintaining competitiveness because we will be in tough everything right away,” he added.
As goalkeeper, behind new number 1 Mike Maignan, Deschamps trusted Alphonse Areola again and summoned Samba for the first time. The 28-year-old goalkeeper from Lens is preferred to Nantes' Alban Lafont, who was called up without playing in September 2022. Regarding the future captain of the France team, the coach said he had not yet made his choice: "There are some that I consider possible, obviously Kylian is one of them. "It will go through discussions with them before I make my decision", according to Didier Deschamps, because "there is a responsibility in relation to being captain, with slightly greater obligations".
Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola, Mike Maignan, Brice Samba.
Defenders: Eduardo Camavinga, Wesley Fofana, Theo Hernandez, Ibrahima Konaté, Jules Koundé, Benjamin Pavard, William Saliba, Dayot Upamecano
Midfielders: Youssouf Fofana, Adrien Rabiot, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Khéphren Thuram, Jordan Veretout
Forwards: Kingsley Coman, Moussa Diaby, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Randal Kolo Muani, Kylian Mbappé, Marcus Thuram