It’s confirmed that Alexandre Lacazette and Anthony Martial will not be travelling to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after France coach Didier Deschamps named his 23-man Les Bleus squad and the Premier League duo didn’t feature in it.
Due to the embarrassment of riches at the disposal of France, they have a power-packed squad from every angle and while Martial’s exclusion isn’t such a shock, Lacazette’s definitely is.
Martial has found playing time hard to come by at Manchester United after reportedly falling out of favour with manager Jose Mourinho and has just 11 goals and seven assists in all competitions this season.
Lacazette hasn’t exactly set pitches in the Premier League alight since his summer move to Arsenal, but the pacey forward’s stats (17 goals and four assists in all competitions) aren’t half bad.
Fans were surprised to see Olympique de Marseille man Florian Thauvin’s name feature in the 23-man squad, but the 25-year-old has 22 goals and 11 assists in Ligue 1 alone and did play a crucial role in his side’s run to the UEFA Europa League final as well.
Karim Benzema is the other notable omission, but the Real Madrid man was never in contention to make the trip as he has effectively retired from international football ever since his infamous ‘sex-tape scandal’ broke.
Olivier Giroud hasn’t had the best season, but the burly Chelsea striker has been included due to the fact that he brings something different to the table for the 2016 European silver medallists.
Somewhat surprisingly, Manchester City left-back Benjamin Mendy has made the cut despite missing most of the 2017-18 season with an ACL injury.
Martial and Lacazette, however, are in the standbys and could still feature but it does seem unlikely.
France have been drawn in Group C along with Australia, Peru and Denmark. They open their campaign on June 16 when they take on Australia at the Kazan Arena.
Full France squad:
Alphone Areola (Paris St Germain), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur) and Steve Mandanda (Olympique de Marseille).
Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris St Germain), Benjamin Pavard (VfB Stuttgart), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Adil Rami (Olympique de Marseille), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona) and Raphael Varane (Real Madrid).
Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Steven N’Zonzi (Sevilla), Paul Pogba (Manchester United) and Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich).
Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (Paris St Germain), Thomas Lemar (Monaco), Nabil Fekir (Olympique Lyonnais), Florian Thauvin (Olympique de Marseille) and Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona).