Guendouzi joins Pogba & Martial in France squad for Nations League Finals as Giroud misses out

Matteo Guendouzi, who was loaned out to Marseille by Arsenal during the summer transfer window, has been included in France’s squad for the Nations League Finals alongside Manchester United pair Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial.

There are a number of familiar faces within Didier Deschamps’ selection, with Les Bleus looking to get back on the trophy trail after suffering a disappointing last-16 exit at Euro 2020.

France, who claimed World Cup glory in 2018, are set to face Belgium in the semi-finals of the Nations League on October 7, with the winners taking on either Italy or Spain in the final.

Who has made the cut for France?

The most notable selection by Deschamps is that of former Arsenal midfielder Guendouzi, with the 22-year-old looking to earn his first senior cap.

He has made two squads in the past, having first been called upon in 2019, but is yet to step off the bench.

A man that has rediscovered a spark at Marseille in 2021-22 will be competing with the likes of Pogba and Adrien Rabiot for minutes in the middle of the park.

Elsewhere, AC Milan star Theo Hernandez is reunited with brother Lucas, who plays for Bayern Munich, while World Cup winners Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann are joined by Karim Benzema and Martial in the attacking ranks, despite the latter’s struggles for game time at Old Trafford.

Who misses out for France?

There is no place in the latest France squad for veteran frontman Olivier Giroud.

The 34-year-old, who swapped life at Chelsea for that with AC Milan over the summer, is just five efforts short of matching Thierry Henry’s all-time record haul at the top of Les Bleus’ goal charts.

He will have to wait before edging ever closer to that mark, with another seasoned performer in Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda also being overlooked on this occasion.

Of those taking in enforced absences, Ousmane Dembele is yet to figure for Barcelona this season since picking up an injury on European Championship duty and Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has posted a positive Covid-19 test.

France squad in full

Goalkeepers: Lloris, Costil, Maignan

Defenders: Digne, Dubois, L. Hernandez, Kimpembe, Kounde, Pavard, Upamecano, Varane

Midfielders: Guendouzi, T. Hernandez, Pogba, Rabiot, Tchouameni, Veretout

Forwards: Ben Yedder, Benzema, M. Diaby, Griezmann, Martial, Mbappe

Further reading