Manchester United forward Anthony Martial has won a France recall for the friendlies against Wales and Germany. However, there was no space in the France 24-man squad announced by Didier Deschamps on Thursday for Celtic’s 21-year-old striker Moussa Dembele who had been favourites for inclusion.
Martial has not played for his country since October 2016, when he won his 15th cap against Holland, but the Frenchman is back in the fold after scoring six goals for Manchester United so far this season.
Deschamps said the former Monaco winger had “come back well” after enduring a “more difficult period” in his career, justifying his return to favour.
Martial’s inclusion was a factor in Deschamps having no room in his squad for Dembele, who according to reports in France had been put on alert for a possible first call-up.
As it happened, French boss selected eight forwards, all tried and trusted and including Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud and Alexandre Lacazette, Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbape and Atletico Madrid’s forward Antoine Griezmann who was linked with a move to Old Trafford last summer.
Deschamps did include two new faces, bringing in Sevilla’s former Stoke and Blackburn midfielder Steven Nzonzi and Stuggart defender Benjamin Pavard.
France will be playing Wales at the Stade de France on November 10 and travel to Cologne on November 14 to face Germany in a friendly clash.
Deschamps admitted that Nzonzi, at the age of 28, had worked brilliantly well to put himself in the frame for a first team appearance.
“He knows the under-21s from a long time ago,” Deschamps said, in a press conference streamed on the French federation website via talkSPORT.
“He played to a very high standard last season, with strong competition. He’s made a good start to the season with Sevilla.
“He’s a player who knows the position and the role of central midfield well.”