Southampton ace deserves international chance says French vote

Arsenal v Southampton 2012 Pregame with Schneiderlin

In a recent vote by readers of French newspaper L'Equipe, 22% believe that Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin should be in the French squad.

Lille's Rio Mavuba had to withdraw from the France squad with a knee injury on Sunday, with Saint-Etienne midfielder Joshua Guilavogui brought into the squad.

Newspaper L'Equipe ran an online poll asking if he was the right choice. 18% agreed with Didier Deschamps, but 22% of the French public believe that Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin should have been given that chance. Unfortunately Deschamps doesn't seem to have the former Strasbourg midfielder on his radar.

France take on 2010 World Cup finalists Netherlands on Wednesday night, and many believe that the 24-man squad picked by Didier Deschamps for the friendly is 95% the squad that he will take to Brazil this summer.

Mavuba was due to be included because of his experience, and ability to play as the deep lying defensive midfielder, covering the gaps left by the attacking full-backs. There isn't another play exactly like the Lille player in the squad, but the inclusion of Guilavogui has been a surprising choice.

In the L'Equipe poll it was Monaco's Jeremy Toulalan who led the way with 27%, but the former international has no interest in a further call-up after the incident in South Africa. Lyon's Maxime Gonalons had the next highest percentage, 24% of the people picked the 24-year-old. He already has six caps for France, and would have been the most obvious of choice.

Guilavogui on the other hand hasn't played that many games this season. He joined Atletico Madrid from Saint-Etienne in the summer and has only managed one appearance off the bench this season. The Spanish side then loaned him back to Les Verts and he has made just one start and one sub appearance, bizarre that Deschamps would bring him in after such little football.

It is not however as bizarre as the situation faced by Southampton's Schneiderlin. The 24-year-old left France six years ago, and ever since it seems that he has dropped firmly off the radar of the French national team staff.

In a recent interview, Deschamps was asked about players that could make the squad, Schneiderlin's name was mentioned, but the former Marseille midfielder was coy with his answer.

"There are some whom I’ve picked, some whom I’m following. Before making a selection I make a pre-selection, a good 50 or so players, every position covered four or even five times."

Southampton have enjoyed one of their best season's to date, and in every step from League One up to their current position of ninth in the Premier League, the French midfielder has been a crucial part. According to the latest stats from WhoScored.com - Schneiderlin's average of 3.8 tackles per game and 2.8 interceptions beats the averages of Guilavogui, Mavuba and poll winner Gonalons.

He may not be in the plans of Deschamps and the national team set-up, but L'Equipe's poll suggests the French public are well aware of the Saints star. And although France are heavily stacked in the midfield position, it surely is only a matter of time before Schneiderlin gets his deserved call.

images: © Ronnie Macdonald, © Ronnie Macdonald

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch