Paul Pogba Named to France's Full 2018 World Cup Provisional Squad Roster

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMay 17, 2018

back row from L: France's midfielder Paul Pogba, France's defender Samuel Umtiti, France's defender Lucas Hernandez, France's midfielder Adrien Rabiot, France's defender Laurent Koscielny, France's goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, front row from L: France's midfielder N'golo Kante, France's forward Ousmane Dembele, France's defender Benjamin Pavard, France's forward Anthony Martial and France's forward Kylian Mbappe pose for a team picture prior to an international friendly football match between Russia and France at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on March 27, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE        (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann were among the 23 players named by France manager Didier Deschamps in his provisional squad for the 2018 World Cup, but there was no place for Pogba's Manchester United team-mate Anthony Martial.

Les Bleus announced the squad on Thursday:

Martial will have to settle for a place in Deschamps' reserve list, along with Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette and Bayern Munich star Kingsley Coman.

France's official Twitter account shared the full list of reserves:

For any who haven't paid close attention to Ligue 1 this season, Florian Thauvin's inclusion ahead of Martial could raise some eyebrows, but the Marseille man has racked up 26 goals and 18 assists in all competitions this season to the United star's 11 and nine.

Thomas Lemar—who has scored just three times for Monaco this year—is more of a surprise after his drop-off in form.

For Martial, his lack of regular game time has proved costly, having made just six appearances for the Red Devils since February.

ESPN's Rob Dawson and football writer Ryan Baldi believe the omission could put his United future in jeopardy:

Lacazette can count himself unfortunate after he scored 17 goals for Arsenal, including eight in his last 10 games. But with the strength of competition for places in forward areas, it is not too surprising he missed out.

So too did Dimitri Payet, perhaps as a result of his limping out of Wednesday's UEFA Europa League final.

ESPN FC's Jonathan Johnson was not surprised by Adrien Rabiot's omission:

Alphonse Areola and Steve Mandanda will provide back-up for Hugo Lloris in goal, while Benjamin Mendy—who has made just three substitute appearances for Manchester City since September—was included among the defenders, who also included Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti and Presnel Kimpembe.

In midfield, N'Golo Kante, Corentin Tolisso, Blaise Matuidi and Steven N'Zonzi will vie for a place in the side alongside Pogba.

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