Chelsea defender Wesley Fofana is handed his first France

Chelsea defender Wesley Fofana is handed his first France call-up by Didier Deschamps as Les Bleus announce their squad for this month’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Holland and Ireland

  • France will play against Holland and Ireland as part of qualifiers this month
  • Didier Deschamps has announced his 23-man squad for the games in March
  • Wesley Fofana handed his first call-up to the squad after impressive few weeks 

Wesley Fofana has been handed his first call-up to the senior France national team by Didier Deschamps.

Deschamps has announced his first squad since the World Cup for this month’s European Championship 2024 qualifiers against Holland and Ireland. He has handed maiden call ups to Brice Samba, Khephren Thuram and Fofana. 

The France head coach has stuck with much the same backbone that got his side to the final of the World Cup in Qatar, with the likes of Eduardo Camavinga, Theo Hernandez, Ibrahima Konate and Jules Kounde being retained in defence.

With Hugo Lloris having retired from international football in the aftermath of the World Cup, Mike Maignan, who was injured for the World Cup, is expected to succeed him as the the country’s first choice. 

Shorn of midfield options with the likes of Paul Pogba lacking minutes and game time for their club, Deschamps will be relying on the likes of Adrien Rabiot and Aurelien Tchouameni once again, both of whom were brilliant in the winter, for midfield control.

Wesley Fofana has received his maiden France call-up after impressive performances for Chelsea

Nice midfielder Khephren Thuram has also been handed a debut call-up by Didier Deschamps

Deschamps has announced his squad for this month’s qualifiers against Holland and Ireland 

Youssouf Fofana is another option in the middle of the park Deschamps can call upon, though he outlined that Camavinga will be specifically considered a left-back for this particular camp.

‘For this window, Camavinga will be considered a left-back,’ said Deschamps. ‘He is versatile but he gives me more guarantees in this position.

‘He won’t be surprised – we’ve talked about it several times together.’

If there are concerns over defensive and midfield options, Deschamps faces no such concerns up front. 

Olivier Giroud, 36-year-old the AC Milan forward and the country’s record scorer, is in, as is Kylian Mbappe, who will be looking to shake off the disappointment of yet another premature Champions League exit with Paris Saint-Germain.

Kingsley Coman, whose goal was decisive in plotting Bayern Munich’s path past the French giants, will reassume his key role in the squad.

Deschamps embraces Antoine Griezmann after France defeated Morocco in the semi-final

Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann have both received call-ups by Deschamps – reprising their roles as able lieutenants for the coach

Kylian Mbappe will bring the x-factor to the France squad as he looks to put the disappointment of PSG’s Champions League exit behind him

Antoine Griezmann, who has endured something of a difficult campaign with Atletico Madrid, could reprise his midfield role, which he performed brilliantly in Qatar. 

While Randal Kolo Muani, who was a late call-up to the squad for the winter World Cup but shot himself to global acclaim and is the subject of reported interest from Manchester United and PSG, has also received a call up.

Muani, as with the rest of the squad, will be looking to put the disappointment of December’s agonising penalty shootout to Argentina behind them. 

They face Holland next Friday, before they take on Ireland the following Monday in Dublin.   

Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (West Ham), Mike Maignan (AC Milan), Brice Samba (Lens)

Defenders: Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Wesley Fofana (Chelsea), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool), Jules Kounde (Barcelona), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), William Saliba (Arsenal), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich)

Midfielders: Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurélien Tchouameni (Real Madrid), Jordan Veretout (OM), Khéphren Thuram (Nice).

Forwards: Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Olivier Giroud (AC Milan), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico), Randal Kolo Muani (Frankfurt), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Marcus Thuram (Monchengladbach), Moussa Diaby (Leverkusen).

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