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Giroud left out of France squad as Deschamps names new faces

Olivier Giroud was left out of the France squad named on Thursday for a triple-header of World Cup qualifiers in September as coach Didier Deschamps called up a quartet of uncapped players.

Giroud, who turns 35 next month, misses out despite sitting just five goals away from equalling Thierry Henry’s all-time record tally of 51 for Les Bleus.

The centre-forward left Chelsea this summer to join AC Milan in search of regular first-team football. He started for his new club as they beat Sampdoria in their opening game of the new Serie A season on Sunday.

With the exception of injuries, it is the first time in a decade that Giroud has been left out of the France squad.

“It is a footballing decision because we have a squad of 23 and there is competition for places,” Deschamps told reporters.

“It is my choice, but it is up to Olivier to keep performing.”

Giroud is one of nine players who featured in the France squad at Euro 2020 but is missing for the matches against Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine and Finland.

Kylian Mbappe is in the squad and Deschamps admitted the ongoing speculation surrounding the Paris Saint-Germain star’s future is “not ideal.”

Mbappe has been linked with a move to Real Madrid with the transfer window closing on August 31, the day before France host Bosnia.

“Of course it’s not ideal,” Deschamps said.

“Kylian, like others, is in a situation where he could end up changing clubs. I will try to be accommodating.” 

Deschamps has given first call-ups to Milan left-back Theo Hernandez, 21-year-old Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, Roma’s Jordan Veretout and Bayer Leverkusen forward Moussa Diaby.

The world champions are looking to bounce back after the disappointment of going out of Euro 2020 to Switzerland on penalties in the last 16.

They host Bosnia in Strasbourg next Wednesday before travelling to Kiev to play Ukraine on September 4.

Les Bleus then entertain Finland in Lyon on September 7.

France are currently top of qualifying Group D after accumulating seven points from their first three matches in March. 

Only the group winners qualify automatically for the finals in Qatar in November and December next year.

France squad:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG), Mike Maignan (AC Milan/ITA), Steve Mandanda (Marseille).

Defenders: Lucas Digne (Everton/ENG), Leo Dubois (Lyon), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan/ITA), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Jules Kounde (Sevilla/ESP), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich/GER), Raphael Varane (Manchester United/ENG), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea/ENG).

Midfielders: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea/ENG), Paul Pogba (Manchester United/ENG), Aurelien Tchouameni (Monaco), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich/GER), Jordan Veretout (Roma/ITA).

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/ESP), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich/GER), Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen/GER), Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona/ESP), Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Anthony Martial (Manchester United/ENG), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain).

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