10 Uncapped Players France Boss Didier Deschamps Must Consider for the World Cup
France national team boss, Didier Deschamps, is set to name his 30-man preliminary squad for this summer’s World Cup on May 13. Barring any last-minute injuries, around 23 of the names should be similar to the squad that was picked to face the Netherlands back in March.
That leaves some scope for Deschamps to make a few surprise inclusions, the chance to pick some players that have not yet had the chance to wear the famous blue jersey for the senior side. There are a lot of talented young French players that have never been picked for the senior side, and Deschamps has to seriously consider taking one or two of these to Brazil this summer.
In a recent interview, Deschamps hinted that he will make his World Cup selection with the 2016 European Championship in mind. He has to balance a desire for glory in Brazil with long-term success. Picking a few young and gifted players is a step toward building for the future.
Here are ten currently uncapped players that Didier Deschamps must consider for the World Cup.
Florian Thauvin: Olympique De Marseille
It has been a very interesting season for Florian Thauvin. The protracted move from Lille to Marseille in the summer affected his early season form, but there have been some glimpses of his genius throughout the campaign.
Marseille have struggled for consistency, and that form has definitely had a bearing on young Thauvin. The 21-year-old had to up his game when OM lost Mathieu Valbuena and Dimitri Payet to injury before the winter break, and he didn’t disappoint.
During a seven-game spell between October and November, he registered five goals and three assists—he was Marseille’s go-to man. He is blessed with fantastic acceleration, terrific ball control and that little spark of unpredictability that all great wingers need.
Layvin Kurzawa: A.S Monaco
Monaco’s successful second-place finish in Ligue 1 this season has had its fair share of success stories, but none are as welcome as the breakthrough of 21-year-old left-back Layvin Kurzawa.
Amidst all the clamour and excitement of Radamel Falcao, Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez signing for the Monegasque club, Kurzawa has burst onto the scene and made himself one of the hottest young defenders in Europe.
Showing a desire to break forward at every opportunity, he has kept some of the skills that saw him play as a forward in his early football days and scored five goals from the left-back role. Defensively, he has all the tools needed and is perhaps just lacking experience at the very highest level.
It would take an injury to the likes of Lucas Digne or Patrice Evra to see Kurzawa make it to Brazil, but the French under-21 international will continue to develop and should definitely be in Deschamps’ plans.
Remy Cabella: Montpellier HSC
One thing France may lack in the squad that goes to Brazil this summer is a playmaker—the footballing number 10 in its purest form. With an injury to Clement Grenier looking likely to reduce his chances and Samir Nasri’s attitude going against him, Montpellier’s Remy Cabella is the most obvious heir to the throne.
At the age of 24, now is the time for Cabella to really launch himself on the biggest stage. He has been performing above expectation in a struggling Montpellier side, and he deserves a place in Deschamps’ squad.
His control on the ball can be mesmerising at times, he will dazzle and delight you before destroying any defenders that try and stop him. Cabella has also added goals to his game this season, scoring 13 times so far, while keeping up his creative duties with eight assists.
Even if Grenier was fit to go to Brazil this summer, there is an argument that Cabella is more deserving of the place because he would add more versatility in the attacking positions.
Given the chance to shine before the World Cup, Deschamps will find it hard not to consider Cabella for a place in the 23-man squad.
Morgan Schneiderlin: Southampton FC
Ever since Southampton won promotion back to the Premier League, the play of Morgan Schneiderlin has been an absolute joy to watch. He has perfected the art of the central midfielder: breaking up opposition attacks, protecting the defence and bursting forward to help create opportunities in attack.
Southampton fans look on with disbelief each time a France squad is announced without Schneiderlin, and his perennial overlooking is becoming one of football’s biggest mysteries.
According to WhoScored.com, Schneiderlin is joint-second among all Premier League players in the average amount of successful tackles made every game.
So far, Deschamps has failed to comment on why the Southampton midfielder has been ignored by him and his staff, even an invitation by Mauricio Pochettino to come and watch the 24-year-old failed to strengthen his chances.
If the midfielder goes through his career uncapped by his country, it could go down as one of French football’s biggest mistakes.
Sebastien Corchia: FC Sochaux
At just 23 years old, Sebastien Corchia has gone through more than most footballers. He has had to suffer through numerous protracted transfer sagas, and despite being paraded with the Lille shirt and being given a squad number his move away from Sochaux fell through.
With the transfer to Lille cancelled by the DNCG (link in French), Corchia returned to Montbeliard and got stuck in trying to save les Lionceaux from relegation. His effort, desire, work rate and professionalism mean he should be in Didier Deschamps thoughts, not just because he is also an excellent right-back.
Corchia is a former captain of the France under-21 side and made 26 appearances for les Espoirs. He will fall just short of making his 100th appearance for Sochaux this season, and it is unknown where he will play next campaign.
If Deschamps is serious about looking towards 2016, then Corchia should be in his plans sooner rather than later.
Romain Hamouma: Saint-Etienne
Usually when a team sit high up in the league table with a bright and vibrant attacker guiding them through an excellent season, the player in question would be pushing for a place in the national team. Not if their name is Romain Hamouma.
Saint-Etienne’s 27-year-old midfielder has scored nine goals for his team this season, more than anyone else in the squad, and is also their main contributor of goals scored with four assists. However, the former Caen winger couldn’t be further from Deschamps’ 23-man squad.
This season he has shown pace down the wings, been clinical in front of goal and in some of their biggest matches, when Saint-Etienne needed a hero, Hamouma was there to answer the call. Now he needs Deschamps to pick up the phone this summer.
Jordan Ferri: Olympique Lyonnais
There has been plenty of talk regarding Lyon midfielders Clement Grenier and Maxime Gonalons this season and their merits for a place in Didier Deschamps' squad this summer, but one player also deserving of some credit is French under-21 international Jordan Ferri.
The bright and versatile 22-year-old has been a vital part of Remi Garde’s resurgent Lyon side. Playing either at the base of the midfield diamond or in one of the more creative positions, he has been excellent this campaign.
Ferri shows a great range of passing, has the ability to score goals from deep and is no stranger to making hard and important tackles. He has everything in his locker and could be a very versatile and useful part of the French national team over the coming years.
Zacharie Boucher: Toulouse FC
Bought by Toulouse in the January transfer window, the former Le Havre goalkeeper has quickly sprung up the national team ladder in the past 12 months. Now 22 years old, he has played at every international level for France from the under-16s to the under-21s.
Upon his move to Toulouse, he replaced former France under-21 ‘keeper Ali Ahamada as Le Tefece’s first-choice stopper, and if Didier Deschamps is looking to give a young player tournament experience this summer he should look no further than Boucher.
Boucher has great physical attributes and a wonderful command of his area for someone so young. It could prove to be a massive boost for France if he was allowed to watch Hugo Lloris at close quarters this summer.
Samuel Umtiti: Olympique Lyonnais
As an important part of the Under-20 World Champions that were so impressive in Turkey last summer, Lyon defender Samuel Umtiti should have a small chance of making Didier Deschamps' squad for another tournament this summer.
The mobile, versatile and physically impressive centre-back has enjoyed an excellent season for Lyon, gaining experience not only in the league but in Lyon’s exciting Europa League campaign.
Umtiti, still only just 20 years old, has played at the highest level for his club and made more than 60 appearances for les Gones. The potential of the defender could see him become one of the best in France.
What better way to continue his progress than by going to Brazil in June?
Kurt Zouma: Saint-Etienne
There is a lot of pressure on Kurt Zouma’s young shoulders. A £12.5 million move to Chelsea beckons when his loan spell with Saint-Etienne ends this summer, and he has also been earmarked as a future France captain by current boss Didier Deschamps.
It’s just as well that the 19-year-old has absolutely huge shoulders to carry that heavy burden. He also has the ability on the pitch to back it up. Another member of the Under-20 World Champions, Zouma would be a wonderful addition to Deschamps' squad, and will definitely be pushing for that starting role come 2016.
He was close to his first cap back in October 2013, when he was called up for the friendly against Australia, though he sat on the bench for the duaration that night as France won 6-0.
It won’t be long until he makes the leap off the bench and into the first team.
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