The senior French national team might be stagnating at present under the guidance of Didier Deschamps, but the future of French football is looking extremely bright.
This summer, the French won their first-ever under-20 World Cup in Turkey on penalties against Uruguay. The under-19’s then reached the final of the European championship in Lithuania before losing out to Serbia.
Despite a number of high-profile departures over the past few seasons, there is still an abundance of domestic talent in France at present. More importantly, that talent is now opting to stay in France instead of looking for moves abroad.
Take Marseille’s signing of Giannelli Imbula from newly promoted Guingamp for instance. The player could have joined Chelsea if reports are to be believed (h/t Talk Sport), but instead he opted to join Elie Baup’s ambitious side. Ligue 1, and Ligue 2, are both brimming with young talent at present and top-flight sides are recognising that.
Take PSG, for example. They boast the emerging talents of exciting teenagers Hervin Ongenda, Adrien Rabiot, Lucas Digne and Kingsley Coman.
Marseille also snapped up talented left back Benjamin Mendy as well as Imbula this summer.
So far, Lyon have kept hold of French internationals Clément Grenier and captain Maxime Gonalons as well as highly rated defender Samuel Umtiti.
Saint-Etienne, so impressive on their way to the Coupe de la Ligue last season, have only lost Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and they preserved prodigious talents such as Kurt Zouma and Josuha Guilavogui.
Meanwhile, Montpellier can list exciting 23-year-old Rémy Cabella and 22-year-old Benjamin Stambouli as two of their key players despite their relative youth.
Lille’s Florian Thauvin was a revelation at SC Bastia last season and in the under-20 World Cup. Despite his poor attitude and desire to leave Les Dogues because of a lack of European football according to France Football (h/t ESPN FC), Ligue 1 has kept him in its grasp for now.
Also, Monaco’s 17-year-old Anthony Martial, regarded as a phenomenal prospect at Lyon, could turn into one of the newly promoted outfit’s most sage signings amidst a flurry of cash. Tempestuous 24-year-old Yohan Mollo, a star for Saint-Etienne when on loan from Nancy last season, even starts the year in Ligue 2 with the relegated Lorraine-based club.
France is a hotbed of talent waiting to explode and usurp their largely inefficient senior compatriots on the international stage ahead of Euro 2016 on home soil.