Didier Deschamps disclosed, this Wednesday, his last list of the season. This one does not include any surprises, but records two major returns. As revealed Tuesday in our columns, Barcelona striker Ousmane Dembele has been recalled, as has his Leipzig counterpart Christopher Nkunku.
For the rest, it's a classic: the satisfactions of recent months, such as defenders Upamecano and Konaté or striker Kolo Muani, are well at the rendezvous. In the same way as Olivier Giroud, the best director in the history of the Blues (53), still faithful to the post at 36 years old. Among the finalists in Qatar, besides Lloris, Varane and Mandanda who have retired internationally, only Marseillais Guendouzi and Veretout have not been recalled.
The list of 23
Guards: Alphonse Areola, Mike Maignan, Brice Samba.
Defenders: Axel Disasi, Wesley Fofana, Théo Hernandez, Ibrahima Konaté, Jules Koundé, Ferland Mendy, Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano.
Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga, Youssouf Fofana, Antoine Griezmann, Adrien Rabiot, Aurélien Tchouaméni.
Attackers: Kingsley Coman, Ousmane Dembélé, Olivier Giroud, Randal Kolo Muani, Kylian Mbappé, Marcus Thuram, Christopher Nkunku.
Even though 19 of the 23 players selected were at the World Cup, it is a rather young group, overall, that Deschamps chose for the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Gibraltar, on June 16 in Faro (Portugal), then Greece three days later at the Stade de France. For now, the vice-champions of the world occupy the first place of Pool B with two successes against the Netherlands (4-0), then Ireland (1-0) in as many games played.
New chance for Wesley Fofana
Unavailable in March due to a physical glitch in the thigh, Ousmane Dembélé returns, therefore, with the thread of his international history (35 caps, 4 goals). Returning to the competition only at the end of April against Betis, he has since gained some playing time with FC Barcelona with two starts against Real Sociedad on May 20 (1-2) and Mallorca eight days later with (3-0, an assist). His last appearance with the team dates back to the World Cup final against Argentina where he quickly sank to the point of being replaced before the break by Kolo Muani. In an interview with Telefoot on Sunday, Dembélé returned to this episode that he considers "the hardest" of his career. "We had to react and the coach did well to react like that," he added.
Nkunku had to withdraw from the World Cup after a knee injury contracted in training on the eve of the departure in Qatar. A few months later, a small muscle tear in the left thigh contracted against Dortmund, on March 3, had prolonged his distance from the Blues.
Finally, note the presence in the group of Real Madrid defender Ferland Mendy and Wesley Fofana. Already retained in March, the latter had declined his first summons for a problem with the ischios of the right thigh. The former Saint-Etienne player has hardly appeared to his advantage in recent weeks with Chelsea, but the staff is convinced of his potential and considers it useful to offer him a ten-day gathering to get his bearings and store a little experience. The internationals will meet from June 9 in Clairefontaine.