FRANCE

France recall Sakho, Zouma and Digne as Ndombele gets first call-up

France recall Sakho, Zouma and Digne as Ndombele gets first call-up

FABRICE COFFRINI

AFP

Tanguy Ndombele could make his first appearance for France after being picked in the squad for games against Iceland and Germany.

France coach Didier Deschamps has recalled Mamadou Sakho, Kurt Zouma and Lucas Digne to the national squad, while there is also a place for the uncapped Tanguy Ndombele. Crystal Palace defender Sakho could make his first appearance for Les Bleus since March 2016, while Zouma earned the last of his two caps in November 2015.

However, the duo are back involved with the World Cup winners ahead of the friendly against Iceland and the Nations League clash with Germany this month, replacing injured duo Samuel Umtiti and Adil Rami. Digne comes in at left-back with Benjamin Mendy ruled out, while the absence of Corentin Tolisso has resulted in 21-year-old Lyon midfielder Ndombele receiving his first call-up.

"Tanguy is a player at a very good level, he knows how to do everything in midfielder. He has played regularly for a long time," said Deschamps. "It's nice to have experienced players [like Sakho]. He has been with us before. It was important to see him again. Youth is not a handicap but it's good to have a balance between youth and experience."

Crystal Palace's Mamadou Sakho has been recalled

No room for Rabiot

Adrien Rabiot continues to be excluded after refusing a place on the stand-by list for the World Cup, and Deschamps feels it is too soon for the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder to return despite a strong start to the season. "It's way too early to recall Adrien Rabiot after the attitude he had towards the France shirt," said Deschamps. "It doesn't make sense to recall him, it's still way too early. With respect to the team and what the shirt represents, this is not the time."

France squad in full:

Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain); Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Djibril Sidibé (Monaco), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace), Kurt Zouma (Everton), Lucas Hernández (Atletico Madrid), Lucas Digne (Everton); Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), N'Golo Kanté (Chelsea), Steven N'Zonzi (Roma), Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon), Thomas Lemar (Atlético Madrid); Ousmane Dembélé (Barcelona), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain), Florian Thauvin (Marseille).

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