Varane recalled to France squad for Finland clash

The 44-year-old coach has named the 20-year-old in the squad following a lengthy injury, while also handing recalls to Yohan Cabaye, Loic Remy and Mamadou Sakho
France boss Didier Deschamps has recalled Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane to the squad for the World Cup qualifier with Finland this month.

The 20-year-old made his first appearance since undergoing a knee operation in May against Copenhagen in the Champions League on Wednesday but, despite the five-month absence, the former Marseille coach has included the youngster in his panel to face the Finns on October 15.

Newcastle United duo Yohan Cabaye and Loic Remy have also been recalled, with the latter being absent from the international scene since March, while Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho also returns to the squad.

"Varane is back as well. I needed three players left-footed in central defense with Sakho and Abidal. I took Abidal because he is competitive again. It makes sense to resume his way into the team," Deschamps told reporters.

"Remy is effective again, his speed is interesting and he may play different offensive positions."

The 44-year-old refused to explain the inclusion of Karim Benzema, who has endured an indifferent season with Real Madrid thus far and has not found the net for 15 months at international level.

"Benzema? It is of no concern to you if I call him up or not."

Les Blues, who sit second behind Spain on goal difference in Group I, look certain to book their place in Brazil via play-off, with la Roja's remaining fixtures being home clashes with Belarus and Georgia.

However, while the 44-year-old admits that automatic qualification is out of his hands, the former Juventus boss believes he is permitted to dream of Vicente del Bosque's men slipping up.

He added: "Play-offs are not dependent on us. We'll see what awaits us. Dreaming is allowed, but..."

France's squad in full:

Hugo Llloris Tottenham Hotspur
Mickael Landrau Bastia
Steve Mandanda Olympique de Marseille
Eric Abidal Monaco
Patrice Evra Manchester United
Bacary Sagna Arsenal
Laurent Koscielny Arsenal
Raphael Varane Real Madrid
Mamadou Sakho Liverpool
Mathieu Debuchy Newcastle
Samir Nasri Manchester City
Paul Pogba Juventus
Blaise Matuidi Paris Saint-Germain
Yohan Cabaye Newcastle United
Clement Grenier Olympique Lyonnais
Moussa Sissoko Newcastle United
Karim Benzema Real Madrid
Olivier Giroud Arsenal
Franck Ribery Bayern Munich
Dimitri Payet Olympique de Marseille
Loic Remy Newcastle United
Mathieu Valbuena Olympique de Marseille