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Top five players left out of France’s squad for UEFA Euros 2024

Published at :May 17, 2024 at 5:06 PM
Modified at :May 17, 2024 at 5:07 PM
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(Courtesy : France National Football Team)

Akash Mandal

Didier Deschamps has his preliminary squad for the Euro 2024

France currently have one of the most stacked squads ever for a country in a single generation. The Parisian suburbs are the hotbed for young talent, with kids playing on the streets from a young age against older oppositions being a common occurrence in the country.

The sheer pool of talent means that quality players who’d walk into other top national teams miss out on getting capped for their nation. With the French squad for the Euros 2024 being announced this week, here are the top five biggest names who failed to make the cut for the tournament in Germany-

5. Jean-Claire Todibo (OGC Nice)

From a very young age, Jean-Claire Todibo had been touted as the next big thing in the heart of defense for the national team. However, after struggles at Barcelona at a young age, he has finally found his feet at Nice and established himself as one of the best defenders in Ligue 1, with his team boasting the best defense in the league and occupying the 5th position in the league table.

However, despite his resurgence, Todibo has still been unable to establish himself in the national setup, thanks to France’s amazing talent at the heart of defense. The likes of Konate, Upamecano and Saliba all making the squad, while Raphael Varane didn’t even make the cut and Lucas Hernandez is out injured. This has led to the 24-year-old having just 2 caps to his name to date, and being left out of the Euros squad.

4. Matteo Guendouzzi (Lazio)

Another player who was tipped to be a mainstay in the national team during his teenage, Matteo Guendouzzi’s career has not panned out exactly as envisioned. However, the 25-year-old had a solid season at Lazio, where he is on loan from Marseille, playing more than 40 times and looking good at the heart of their midfield.

However, the national team has an unbelievable pool of midfielders, with the likes of Tchouameni, Camavinga, Seko Fofana, and Rabiot forming the core of the midfield. N’Golo Kante was brought back into the squad, while Didier Deschamps has chosen young Warren Zaire-Emery over the more experienced Guendouzzi.

3. Moussa Diaby (Aston Villa)

Moussa Diaby has sparkled for Aston Villa this season, working in tandem with Leon Bailey on the other wing as Villa have qualified for the Champions League for the first time in their history. The Frenchman has scored 10 goals and chipped in with 9 assists during the season.

However, he was snubbed by Deschamps for the Euros squad, and a closer look at the attackers chosen by the France manager will reveal why. The team is stacked with wingers, with Ousmane Dembele, Kingsley Coman, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe forming a dangerous and versatile unit. While Bradley Barcola’s call-up over Diaby’s is questionable, Deschamps has decided to go with an extra striker in the squad, leaving no room for Diaby.

Also Read: France announce 25-man squad for Euro 2024

2. Michael Olise (Crystal Palace)

Michael Olise’s exclusion from the Euros squad was one of the biggest shock exclusions from the squad. The Frenchman has sizzled at Selhurst Park this season, looking pacy, skilful and productive, especially since Oliver Glasner’s arrival.

His exclusion might be justified by the fact that his scintillating form is pretty recent and that the position he plays for at Palace is already occupied by the national team. The 22-year-old is a winger but has primarily played as a right-sided number 10 during his purple patch alongside another 10. The National team don’t really operate with a number 10, and even if they do, Antoine Griezmann has cemented that position, which leaves no room for Olise.

1. Christopher Nkunku (Chelsea)

Another huge surprise on the squad announcement was that Christopher Nkunku was left out of the squad. The Frenchman’s move to Chelsea has gone miserably, with injuries restricting him to just 2 starts for the club. However, whenever he has played, he has looked effective, with 3 goals in that time.

A fully fit and firing Nkunku would have surely walked into the squad, and his exclusion is probably due to his long-term unavailability, despite returning to action and even getting a goal in the last month. Deschamps might be concerned about rustiness and recurring injuries, which is a worry no team wants to have ahead of a hectic international tournament.

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