Lassana Diarra will add a “strategic role” to the France team following his recall to the squad on Thursday, according to Les Bleus boss Didier Deschamps.
Diarra’s last appearance for France came in August 2010 but his fine form for Marseille this season has earned him a call-up for the friendlies against Armenia on October 8 and Denmark three days later.
Deschamps is looking forward to working with the former Real Madrid midfielder and is excited about what he will bring to the group.
He told reporters: “If I call him up it’s because I know he wants to be back with us. Lass has made a very good start to the season and has international experience. He knows the national team and will bring a strategic role to the defence.”
Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, on loan at Villarreal from Paris Saint-Germain, was included at the expense of Stephane Ruffier and Deschamps revealed it was a phone call with Ruffier which prompted the decision.
“I had a long discussion with him [Ruffier] in March and I recently spoke with him again. Following this latest exchange I decided not to call him up,” he added.
“Areola is doing well with Villarreal, who are top of La Liga with one of the best defences. There is a sporting reason why he has been included.”
Hatem Ben Arfa failed to earn a call-up despite his fine form with Nice but Deschamps insisted the former Marseille man remained on his radar.
Deschamps continued: “I know him very well, I was his coach at Marseille. I want him to continue the way he has done since the start of the season. I am following his progress.”
Anthony Martial was included after his flying start to life at Manchester United with even Deschamps admitting his impact was eye-opening.
“He has the potential. Everybody is surprised by what he is doing at United but that’s good for him and good for us. He deserves to be here,” the coach added.