The former PSG utility player has justified his team selection and especially jumped to defend the omission of Nantes striker Santy Ngom.
Besides Ngom, other notable exclusions from the squad include Crystal Palace full-back Pape Souare, Newcastle United’s Mohamed Diame, Saint-Etienne left-back Cheikh Mbengue and Pape Kouly Diop of La Liga side Eibar.
“It is difficult (selecting the squad), but I have to make choices,” Cisse was quoted as saying by AfrikFoot.
But it is the snubbing of Ngom which Cisse has rushed to defend most.
Ngom appeared to have done enough to impress the coach after being handed his debut in an international friendly against Uzbekistan, and for another match against Bosnia-Herzegovina in March.
“Santy is a young player I took into the team and at the time everyone was wondering who he was. But today, compared to Sadio Mané or Mbaye Niang, he is a boy who plays little at his club.”
Other strikers settled for by Cisse include Keita Balde, Mame Biram Diouf, Moussa Konate, Diafra Sakho and veteran Bursaspor forward Moussa Sow.
Senegal return to the World Cup for the first time since 2002 after having missed three editions of the global quadrennial football showpiece.