Barca's Lenglet praised by France boss Deschamps after solid international showing

Clement Lenglet, France
The 24-year-old defender had a productive first year at Camp Nou, and his national manager thinks he is improving all the time

Didier Deschamps commended Clement Lenglet's class on the ball as the Barcelona defender looks to cement a place in France's starting XI.

Injuries to Aymeric Laporte and Samuel Umtiti opened the door for left-footer Lenglet to start alongside Raphael Varane in the 4-1 Euro 2020 qualifying victory over Albania on Saturday.

The 24-year-old moved ahead of World Cup winner Umtiti in the pecking order at Barca last term, making 45 competitive appearances, and looks set to replicate the feat for France.

Lenglet will win a third cap on Tuesday unless major changes are made for the home date with Andorra, who are bottom of Group H after five games.

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"He had a great season with Barca," Deschamps said of the former Sevilla defender.

"He has a lot of serenity, assurance and technical ease. He's calm on the ball. Without being very big, he is also effective in duels and knows how to anticipate.

"He's still improving but he gives off a lot of confidence."

Lenglet and Real Madrid regular Varane are key figures at La Liga's top teams, a shared experience the coach thinks could accelerate their understanding in the international arena.

"Both play for very big clubs, they are used to a very high level," Deschamps said.

"Raphael has far more international experience than Clement.

"Obviously, the more matches they play together, the more the partnership can be refined."

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France are top of Group H with five matches remaining but sit level on points with Turkey and Iceland.

Deschamps added: "I will decide [on Tuesday] who plays, but there will be some changes. That seems logical to me.

"Even if the players who played Saturday want to play again, it will not be the same team, that's for sure."