Kurt Zouma could make his first start for France when he returns to Saint-Etienne for the friendly against Denmark at the end of the month.
Didier Deschamps announced his squad on Thursday for France’s friendly games against Brazil and Denmark before the end of March and one of the biggest stories from the selection is the first proper call-up for Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma.
This is not the first time the young defender has been in one of Deschamps’ squads, but it is the first time he has been named in the original list. His previous inclusions have all come from someone else dropping out. The Chelsea defender has played a bigger role in Jose Mourinho’s team as of late, even starting in midfield for the Capital One Cup final.
It is unlikely that he will play much of the first game against Brazil at the Stade de France, but there is a huge opportunity to play him against Denmark on March 29th.
Taking on Brazil, Deschamps will likely turn to his more senior players, with Raphael Varane being partnered by either Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny or Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho. It may be too much to ask for the young defender to make his first start for France at the national stadium against the likes of Neymar, Hulk and Philippe Coutinho.
However, the second game could be a huge moment for Zouma. The game will be played at Saint-Etienne’s Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, and it would be a superb moment for Zouma. He would be returning to the city and club that forged his young career and it would be a wonderful chance to make his full international debut for Les Bleus.
Taking on Denmark would be a great chance for Deschamps to try out a few of his fringe players like Geoffrey Kondogbia, Nabil Fekir and Zouma. It would be in an environment that he feels very comfortable in, with his old fans cheering him on.
Full France Squad: Premier League players inBold
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda, Stephane Ruffier
Defenders: Bacary Sagna, Christophe Jallet, Laurent Koscielny, Mamadou Sakho, Patrice Evra, Raphael Varane, Benoit Tremoulinas, Kurt Zouma
Midfielders: Blaise Matuidi, Moussa Sissoko, Morgan Schneiderlin, Maxime Gonalons, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Dimitri Payet
Forwards: Karim Benzema, Olivier Giroud, Alexandre Lacazette, Antoine Griezmann, Nabil Fekir, Mathieu Valbuena