Ndombele returns to France squad for World Cup qualifiers

The midfielder is back in the international fold for the first time since moving to Tottenham two years ago

Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele was rewarded for his return to form with a recall to the France team for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

The 24-year-old hasn’t played for Les Bleus since the summer of 2019, but now has the option to add to his six international caps in matches against Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Other notable returnees include Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Lemar, who hasn’t played since November 2019, while Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele, a member of their 2018 World Cup-winning squad, is back. for the first time in two and a half years. .

What did Deschamps say?

This represents Ndombele’s first international call since moving his club record of € 60million (£ 54million / $ 68million) from Lyon to Tottenham.

The Frenchman arrived in north London with a reputation as an action midfielder, but struggled to adjust to the demands of English football in his debut Premier League season, with manager Jose Mourinho publicly remitting question Ndombele’s fitness levels at any given time.

However, the player stunned himself and was rewarded with a much improved 2020-21 campaign, with his displays now also drawing the attention of his international manager.

Speaking at a press conference announcing the squad, boss Didier Deschamps said Ndombele, Lemar and Dembele deserved their callbacks after a series of impressive recent performances.

“Thomas, for several weeks now he’s been more consistent,” he said. “His level of performance is much better, as is Tanguy. Tanguy’s performances are similar to those he presented in Lyon.

On Dembele, Deschamps added: “For several weeks, he has been playing regularly and he has regained his athletic abilities.

“He plays and scores goals, although he could score more. He has been greatly hampered by repeated injuries. He is gradually maturing.

“What he is capable of doing today, he has been doing for several years, which is why he was part of the world championship team.”

Who else is in the France team?

Manchester United striker Anthony Martial is also named to the squad as he is currently sidelined with a groin injury with teammate Paul Pogba, who has just returned to training after missing six weeks with a thigh problem.

Alphonse Areola, Hugo Lloris, Kurt Zouma, N’Golo Kante, Moussa Sissoko and Olivier Giroud are also part of an enlarged team of 26 players.

However, there is no room for Steven N’Zonzi, Marcus Thuram, Corentin Tolisso and Theo Hernandez.

The entire French team:

Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (Fulham, on loan from Paris Saint-Germain), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Mike Maignan (Lille)

Defenders: Lucas Digne (Everton), Leo Dubois (Lyon), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Clement Lenglet (Barcelona), Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern), Raphael Varane ( Real Madrid), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea)

Midfielders: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham)

Attackers: Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Kingsley Coman (Bayern), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona), Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint -Germain)

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