France manager Didier Deschamps has recalled Newcastle striker target – Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette – and Newcastle’s on loan center-back and utility defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa also gets a call-up – but Newcastle new boy Remy Cabella has been dropped from the squad.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in action at Roma
Moussa Sissoko has been in great form for Newcastle recently during our four game winning run, and he keeps his place in the squad – but Remy Cabella, who has been struggling at Newcastle to get to grips with English football has been dropped, and we suppose that’s understandable in a way.
But we expect Remy to push on at Newcastle, and start playing somewhere near his best form very soon, so the 25 year-old needs to keep his chin up – so to speak.
In the summer Newcastle were after Lacazette, the 23 year-old Lyon striker, but we couldn’t make the deal, and in September he signed a two-year extension to his contract, tying him to the club until 2018.
That was important for the French club, because it means he will not become a free agent next summer, so it was an insurance policy for Lyon.
Lacazette only just missed out on the 23 man France World Cup squad, but made the provisional list, but Didier preferred Loic Remy,who is currently out injured at Chelsea.
And Yohan Cabaye is in the squad even though he is having difficulty getting games at PSG – and he is still an important player for France.
Yanga-Mbiwa has been in good form and played the whole game in last night’s 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich in Germany in the Champions League, and the Frenchman has so far played 12 times for Roma, and is expected to make the deal permanent, either in January or next summer.
Mapou has 8 caps at the U21 level and so far has three senior caps, and could add to that in this International break.
Still no place for Ben Arfa, who is on loan at Hull City, but it’s unlikely he will (ever) get a call-up from Deschamps, who was manager at Marseilles when Ben Arfa joined Newcastle, and he did not get on with the former France captain and World Cup winner.
France are hosts of Euro 2016, so they are playing friendly games during the qualifying rounds, and they play Albania next Friday in Lorient and then play Sweden four days later in Marseilles.
Here is the full French squad:
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Benoit Costil (Rennes).
Defenders: Lucas Digne (Paris Saint-Germain), Christophe Jallet (Lyon), Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City), Loic Perrin (Saint-Etienne), Bacary Sagna (Manchester City), Benoit Tremoulinas (Sevilla), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Roma).
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Paris Saint-Germain), Joshua Guilavogui (Wolfsburg), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle).
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Marseille), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon), Dimitri Payet (Marseille), Mathieu Valbuena (Dynamo Moscow).
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