Wissam Ben Yedder and Lucas Hernandez have been handed maiden senior international call-ups by France boss Didier Deschamps.
Fresh off the back of his brace that sunk Manchester United, Sevilla striker Ben Yedder will get his first chance to impress Deschamps in friendlies against Colombia and Russia.
Ben Yedder – who has represented France at Under-21 level – turned Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 tie on its head after coming off the bench, scoring twice to send Vincenzo Montella’s men into the quarter-finals.
“It [his call-up] is not just [because of] the two goals at Old Trafford,” said Deschamps. “Even if it comes to his credit.
“He has played four or five seasons with more than 15 goals.
“He does not play every game, but he has the ability to score when he comes on. This is not the case with everyone.
“He has a different profile, he has mobility and liveliness. It is extremely effective.”
106 – Only 3 players have scored more goals than Ben Yedder in all comps among French players from the Top 5 leagues since 2012/13. Newcomer. pic.twitter.com/bM3AqqfxBJ
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) March 15, 2018
Ben Yedder is joined by fellow newcomer Lucas amid a tug-of-war with Spain, but it is his performances rather than his international future that led to Deschamps selecting the Atletico Madrid defender.
“Lucas is very happy to join up with France,” said Deschamps. “I will never call up a player to prevent him from choosing another nation.
“He is a young player used to international competitions, it [his call-up] does not happen by chance.”
Paul Pogba’s club form with United may have come in for some criticism but he remains an integral part of Deschamps’ plans, while France’s attacking options look strong.
Antoine Griezmann leads the list with Ousmane Dembele, Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe among those available, though Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette misses out.
France: Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille); Lucas Digne (Barcelona), Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid); N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Thomas Lemar (Monaco), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Adrien Rabiot (PSG), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich); Wissam Ben Yedder (Sevilla), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Florent Thauvin (Marseille).
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