Leicester City’s N’golo Kante Named In The France Squad For First Time
Leicester City’s N’Golo Kante has been named in the France squad for the first time.
The talismanic midfielder has been called up for the upcoming friendlies against the Netherlands and Russia.
Dimitri Payet of West Ham has also been included in Didier Deschamps’ 23-man selection.
Kante has been an integral part of Leicester’s unlikely rise to the summit of English football this season; he has made more tackles and interceptions (247) than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues.
His selection came on the same day Roy Hodgson called up Kante’s midfielder partner Danny Drinkwater to the England squad for the first time.
The former Caen player takes the place of Manchester United’s Morgan Schneiderlin in Deschamps’ squad.
“N’Golo Kante is putting in high-level performances,” Deschamps said.
As for Schneiderlin, Deschamps added: “It’s not that I don’t have confidence in Morgan, I know what he can do, but before making final decisions (on the Euro 2016 squad) it’s important that N’Golo comes with us to get more answers.”
West Ham forward Payet moved to London last summer and has scored 11 times as Slaven Bilic’s side enjoy one of their best ever Premier League campaigns.
Fellow English-based stars Hugo Lloris, Laurent Koscielny, Bacary Sagna, Mamadou Sakho, Yohan Cabaye, Moussa Sissoko, Olivier Giroud and Anthony Martial are all in the squad for the pair of March friendlies.
France 23-man squad:
Goalkeepers: Benoît Costil (Rennes), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)
Defenders: Lucas Digne (Roma), Patrice Evra (Juventus), Christophe Jallet (Lyon), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Jérémy Mathieu (Barcelona), Bacary Sagna (Manchester City), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid)
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace), Lassana Diarra (Marseille), Ngolo Kanté (Leicester), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle)
Forwards: Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), André-Pierre Gignac (Tigres de Monterrey), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Dimitri Payet (West Ham)