Warren Zaire-Emery, PSG nugget, called up to the French football team at 17

Three weeks have barely passed since the Blues' victory against Scotland in a friendly match (4-1), but Didier Deschamps is already back

Warren Zaire-Emery, PSG nugget, called up to the French football team at 17

Three weeks have barely passed since the Blues' victory against Scotland in a friendly match (4-1), but Didier Deschamps is already back. At the headquarters of the French Football Federation (FFF), in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, the Bayonnais announced, Thursday, November 9, the names of the twenty-three players called to play in the last two qualifying matches for Euro 2024. Already assured of playing the competition in Germany, the French team will host Gibraltar on November 18 in Nice (Alpes-Maritimes), then travel to Greece on November 21 in Athens.

Despite the short time between the two deadlines – due to a busy international calendar – the coach made two changes to his group. Absent from Deschamps' initial group on October 5, Jean-Clair Todibo, starting and performing well with OGC Nice since the start of the season, was called directly by the French coach. But the real attraction of this “list of twenty-three” is Warren Zaire-Emery.

Born in 2006, the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) midfielder is preparing to break precocity records. If he comes on during one of the two matches, he would become, at 17 years 8 months and 10 (or 13) days, the youngest French international since the post-war era, erasing Eduardo Camavinga ( Real Madrid) – also present in the list and now a regular with the Blues.

The protégé of Thierry Henry, who entrusted him with the captain's armband with the Espoirs, owes this call-up to sparkling performances at the club in recent weeks. Double decisive passer against Milan in the Champions League then scorer against Brest and Montpellier in Ligue 1, the native of Montreuil (Seine-Saint-Denis) established himself as a starter within the rich Parisian squad and could no longer escape the staff of Didier Deschamps. Reluctant to praise players who have never yet been called up, the Blues coach nevertheless affirmed, during the Ballon d'Or ceremony, that he "pleased" in the environment thanks to its "maturity" and "very high level performances". . “Even if there is competition for his position, he has all the qualities to impose himself at a very high level,” he added on Thursday at a press conference. Despite his young age, he has this ability to assume responsibilities. »

The objective: to be seeded at the Euro

Even if Didier Deschamps does not like this term, he was above all “forced” to make these changes in his group. In fact, Aurélien Tchouameni (Real Madrid) and Benjamin Pavard (Inter Milan), both present at the last meeting of the Blues, were unavailable due to injuries. The two French internationals are expected to miss around two months of competition: the first having suffered a metatarsal fracture and the second from a distortion of the left knee ligament.

In addition to launching his youngest shoot, Didier Deschamps could take advantage of these two meetings to test new devices and new affinities in the field. The French coach will in any case be able to count on very successful French executives with their respective clubs. Antoine Griezmann, author of six goals in five games with Atlético de Madrid, or Olivier Giroud, saving scorer with AC Milan against PSG in the Champions League, will be the examples to follow for the young French guard.

Even if they are certain to play the European Championship in Germany, from June 14 to July 14, 2024, these matches will not be without challenges for the Blues. As the coach explained a month ago, it is important to win, at least in one of the two matches, to be "in the best five of the first ten, in order to be seeded in this Euro 2024”.

After these two meetings, captain Kylian Mbappé's teammates will not meet again for four months. In March, they will play two home friendlies against opponents yet to be determined. Like the French XV, the Blues will host their future opponents outside the Stade de France – in preparation for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris (July 26 to August 11 then from August 28 to September 8). To temporarily replace the Dionysian venue, the FFF has notably chosen the Saint-Symphorien stadium, in Metz (Moselle), and the OL Stadium, in Lyon (Rhône), which will each host an international meeting.

· The complete list of twenty-three

Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola, Mike Maignan, Brice Samba.

Defenders: Jonathan Clauss, Lucas Hernandez, Théo Hernandez, Ibrahima Konaté, Jules Koundé, Jean-Clair Todibo, William Saliba, Dayot Upamecano.

Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga, Youssouf Fofana, Boubacar Kamara, Adrien Rabiot and Warren Zaire-Emery.

Forwards: Kingsley Coman, Ousmane Dembélé, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Randal Kolo Muani, Kylian Mbappé, Marcus Thuram.