Jonathan Clauss and Christopher Nkunku first called for the French team

Two newbies for a list. Their names have been in many mouths for much of the season: they are selected here. RB Leipzig’s attacking midfielder Christopher Nkunku and RC Lens right-back Jonathan Clauss travel to Clairefontaine for the first time. Didier Deschamps unveiled the group for the next meeting on Thursday 17 March. Like a breath of fresh air in “Lesson 23” and a huge step forward for these players who are signing a very high level club season.

At 24, Christopher Nkunku is in the season of his life. The Paris Saint-Germain-trained midfielder, a key player for Razenballsport Leipzig, is one of the very best in the Bundesliga. Author of 15 goals and nine assists in the league, he also made his mark in the Champions League by shaking the net seven times and providing an assist in just six games.

“Both in content and efficiency, it reacts present”, the Blues coach urged. †Its register has evolved a bit, today it is a bit more axial, in a system where it is closer to the target. It will be used in that area.”

For Jonathan Clauss, regularity counts. He has been one of the bosses of the Sang et Or for two seasons and most notably on the current practice where he makes sacrifices to his teammates as a right piston. Here he stands with nine assists for four goals in the 2021/2022 season. This makes him the second best passer in Ligue 1 behind Parisians Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi (10).

“These are two players who are performing well at their clubs and who could have been called up earlier,” he said. Didier Deschamps clarified at a press conference. “I think now was the time to see that they had a little more answers compared to the final pick at the end of the year.”

On the side of the absent, three main names stand out: those of Léo Dubois (Lyon), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich) and Olivier Giroud (Milan), not called up for the Blues’ two encounters against Ivory Coast and South Africa, 25 and March 29 in Marseille and Lille.

As for the Bavarian centre-back, the coach admitted that he “had problems at the time”“He’s also been playing less lately, maybe it’s not the best moment of his career, especially because the demands at Bayern are not clear.” Also no Kurt Zouma, a choice “purely sporty” “DD” justified himself, who then spoke about the case of the French team’s second top scorer. “Olivier is having a great season at Milan, he is doing well. I have to make choices, I know what he was capable of. He remains selectable, even though I did not call him at this meeting.” The door remains open to those who have scored 8 goals in Serie A since August.

guards : Hugo Lloris, Mike Maignan, Alphonse Areola.

Defenders: Lucas Digne, Jonathan Clauss, Lucas Hernandez, Théo Hernandez, Presnel Kimpembe, Jules Koundé, Benjamin Pavard, Raphaël Varane.

Environments: Matteo Guendouzi, N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Adrien Rabiot, Aurélien Tchouameni.

ahead: Wissam Ben Yedder, Karim Benzema, Kingsley Coman, Moussa Diaby, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Christopher Nkunku.