Manchester City's Aymeric Laporte's dream of playing for France has not happened because Didier Deschamps has "personal reasons" for not picking him.
Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte has long longed to play for France. But while the central defender has been called up for national duty on three occasions, he has yet to step onto the playing pitch for Les Bleus.
It has been almost two years since Didier Deschamps last called upon him for the friendly match against Spain in March, 2017, and Laporte believes the coach has personal reasons for not picking him.
“There is only one answer: there is a coach and the coach doesn’t choose me,” said the French player in an interview with Spanish television network, ETB, when asked about his omission from the national team.
“I don’t have anything against him (Deschamps), but if someone has [a problem] it’s with me. They are the coach’s decisions, but in this case he doesn’t choose me, I believe, for personal reasons.”
A few weeks ago, Pierre Mankowski, who was a coaching assistant in the national setup during the tenures of Jaques Santini and Raymond Doménech from 2002 to 2010, gave an interview to L’Equipe, in which he spoke about why Laporte has not been selected to play for France.
"He is a loner and when he communicates, he seems uncomfortable, because he has a great perception of himself which shows," said Mankowski. "In the end, he is a good professional who has problems integrating into a group."
However, the ex-Athletic Bilbao player believes his performances with City warrant his call up for France. “I continue to work at my club, which the one that has bet on me. I work day after day; I am playing at the highest level in order to be selected for this type of thing, but I can’t do it if they don’t call on me, obviously. The only person who can solve this is the person in question – the coach,” he said.
Playing for Spain
Laporte came to Spain in 2009 to join Athletic’s youth setup, and after eight years in the country, had a right to Spanish citizenship and thus eligibility to play for the national team. And it had been reported that the Spanish FA, who saw him as a possible replacement for Gerard Pique, wanted the Frenchman to change allegiance.
But when asked about playing for Spain, Laporte said he still intends to play for France and also acknowledged that, in any case, he may no longer meet the requirements for Spanish nationality. "I chose France because I am French, I do not have dual nationality and I will not ask for it. I don’t even know if it is possible,” he said.
Indeed, under Spanish legislation, he would not be eligible for Spanish nationality since he does not currently have residency status in Spain while he lives in the United Kingdom. But regardless of that fact, Laporte’s ambition is to play for France. However, that seems unlikely to happen while Deschamps is in charge.