Didier Deschamps has announced his 24 man squad for the friendly match against the Netherlands on March the 5th and there are a couple of surprises, both in the selection and the omissions.
The obvious headline is the decision to not pick Manchester City’s Samir Nasri, it is something that has been touted for quite a while but after his performances in the league this season and his apparent change in attitude, it comes as a surprise that he misses out on this squad. Lyon’s Clement Grenier comes into the squad in his place, and there is no doubt his performances are worthy of a call-up.
Deschamps has called up two players for the first time, Paris Saint-Germain’s Lucas Digne and Real Sociedad’s Antoine Griezmann. Digne’s selection sees another City player, Gael Clichy miss out. Digne has only played nine games for PSG this season, but has impressed for the Under 21’s and has experience in the Champions League with Lille last season.
The inclusion of Griezmann has been a long time coming, the only reason it hasn’t come sooner is because of the suspension he had to serve after a unsanctioned night-out after a U21 international. He has been in excellent form for Sociedad this season and is a welcome addition to the squad.
Upfront, there were calls for Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette and Marseille’s Florian Thauvin to be included, but both have missed out. Thauvin misses out to teammate, Dimitri Payet, with Payet called up in the past, Deschamps has gone for experience. Lacazette misses out in place of Newcastle United’s Loic Remy. Both forwards have been in great form, Remy has 12 goals in the Premier League and Lacazette has enjoyed his best season ever with 13 goals so far. Deschamps has gone for the experienced option, but if Lacazette’s form continues he could push Remy for a place on the plane.
Here is the squad for the game on March 5th at the Stade de France:
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Stephane Ruffier (Saint-Etienne)
Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Lucas Digne (PSG), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Eliaquim Mangala (Porto), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool)
Midfielders: Paul Pogba (Juventus), Yohan Cabaye (PSG), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle), Rio Mavuba (Lille), Clement Grenier (Lyon)
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad), Dimitri Payet (Marseille), Loic Remy (Newcastle)
images: © korobukkuru