N’Golo Kante’s impressive form for Leicester City in the Premier League this season meant France head coach Didier Deschamps could not leave him out of his latest squad.
Deschamps gave the midfielder his first international call-up on Thursday as France begin their preparations for Euro 2016 with upcoming friendlies against Netherlands and Russia.
As Leicester have stunned the Premier League to sit top with eight matches remaining, Kante has been an integral part of Claudio Ranieri’s plans with his all-action performances.
“He [Kante] is a complete midfielder,” said Deschamps. “He has this great ability to recover the ball. He anticipates well, and he positions well.
“That’s not it. He has also this great physical ability which enables him to be a box to box player like they say in England. He is able to attack as well.
“It was less visible at Caen but we were monitoring him. He is under the spotlight because he plays for Leicester and Leicester is the surprise. He is playing well regularly in every game. So, he has an interesting profile.”
Deschamps also named Dimitri Payet in his 22-man selection after the forward scored eight goals in 22 appearances for West Ham in the Premier League.
He added: “I picked him [Payet] because of what he is doing with his club and it seems, for me, logic that he gets back with us for the next two games.
“He plays on the left wing but he has this freedom and he can play on the right as well. He can play behind a striker. It’s good to have this versatility.
“With West Ham, he was playing more in the centre behind the striker at the start of the season. For months now, he has played on the left wing but he has this freedom that I give to my players.”