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Evra dropped from France squad

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 25 Aug 2016

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France boss Didier Deschamps has left veteran left-back Patrice Evra out of the squad to face Italy and Belarus next month.

Juventus defender and former Les Bleus captain Evra has 80 caps for his country and was an ever-present on their run to the final of Euro 2016.

But Deschamps suggested he is looking towards the future in leaving out the 35-year-old for the September 1 friendly against Italy and France’s opening 2018 World Cup qualifier in Belarus five days later.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Layvin Kurzawa and Barcelona’s Lucas Digne are set to contest the left-back slot, while Deschamps was keen not to definitively call time on Evra’s international career.

“He [Evra] is still at a good level, but I need to look forward to a World Cup in two years,” he said.

“I have not closed the door on Evra. I know what he is capable of. It is up to him to maintain his high level.”

Paul Pogba will return to international duty as the world’s most expensive player but Deschamps was keen to avoid attaching any great meaning to the midfielder’s newly lofty status after rejoining Manchester United from Juventus.

“Transfers happen between one club and another. The amounts can be surprising but football is football,” he added.

“We do not need to keep reminding him of the transfer fee. Manchester United were able to pay it.

“For him, he cares about the pitch and football. It [the price] will not perturb him.”

Blaise Matuidi has been heavily touted as a potential replacement for Pogba in Turin, while Moussa Sissoko remains with Championship side Newcastle United after links to Real Madrid failed to progress beyond speculation.

“There are players who played very well at the Euros, some of them don’t know what shirt they will be wearing next month,” Deschamps said.

“Sometimes players speak to me about possible transfer moves. Blaise might have done so.

“[Sissoko’s] transfer situation should be solved very soon. He has always been an important player for us.”

Striker Alexandre Lacazette continued his rich vein of goalscoring form into the new season, with five goals in Lyon’s opening two Ligue 1 matches, and has been rewarded with a recall alongside club team-mate Nabil Fekir.

Deschamps’ collection of attacking talent will not be complimented by Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who remains in exile.

Captain Hugo Lloris’ injury absence creates room for PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola to be included alongside similarly uncapped Lille defender Sebastien Corchia.

France squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Steve Mandanda (Crystal Palace), Benoît Costil (Rennes), Alphonse Aréola (Paris Saint-Germain)

Defenders : Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Sebastien Corchia (Lille), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Lucas Digne (Barcelona), Layvin Kurzawa (Paris Saint-Germain), Adil Rami (Sevilla)

Midfielders : Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace), Dimtri Payet (West Ham)

Forwards: Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres), Nabil Fekir (Lille)

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