After making a huge mistake against Sweden, Layvin Kurzawa has the chance for redemption after being called up to France's full squad.
AS Monaco defender Layvin Kurzawa has had an interesting month. After being berated for a ridiculous celebration as his France Under-21 side were beaten on aggregate by Sweden, he was then linked again with a move to Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.
The celebration came after he had scored to bring France level late in the game, but it was short lived as Sweden stunned Les Espoirs late on, winning the game 4-3 over the two legs. The home side then recreated their own version of Kurzawa’s “Where are you?” salute, leaving the left-back red-faced.
Kurzawa should have been made to learn his lesson, left to grow up in the Under-21 squad, but fate has led to a huge opportunity for the defender.
With Patrice Evra ruled out for a few months, Didier Deschamps originally called-up Sevilla’s Benoit Tremoulinas for the games against Albania and Sweden. Injury near the end of the Spanish side’s game against Levante has led to the former Bordeaux and Saint-Etienne man having to pull out of the squad, leaving a space for Kurzawa to make his full international debut.
Over the next few days, Kurzawa will have the chance to show Deschamps's what he is capable of up against PSG’s young talent Lucas Digne.
At 22 years old, Kurzawa is a year older than Digne, but as the former Lille man was part of Deschamps squad in Brazil and played for every age group from Under-17 to the same Under-21 side that Kurzawa has been promoted from, it is Digne that has earned his starting spot.
That won’t stop Kurzawa though. He has been superb for Monaco over the last 18 months and his swashbuckling style of football has been a revelation down the Monegasque left.
Kurzawa has blended his experience of playing as a striker when he was much younger with his defensive responsibilities to develop into a modern-day full-back who is showing that he has the best of both worlds.
Pace, stamina and a wonderful left foot, it is no wonder that the big European clubs, including the best in the Premier League are showing an interest in the defender.
Louis van Gaal might not be interested, but you can see where he would fit at either Manchester City or Chelsea. Under Manuel Pellegrini, Kurzawa would be given licence to break forward at pace. Chelsea may be a tougher sell, but he would be a wonderful alternative to Cesar Azpilicueta.
Once Monaco look willing to sell, there will be a huge queue of teams interested, and it will be the highest bidders that lure Kurzawa away from the Cote d’Azur.