Tottenham’s Tanguy Ndombele sees form under Jose Mourinho rewarded with first France call-up in 18 months… while Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele is selected for first time in more than TWO YEARS by Didier Deschamps
- Didier Deschamps has named his France side for upcoming World Cup qualifiers
- Tottenham’s Tanguy Ndombele has been called up for the first time since 2019
- The big inclusion in the 26-man squad was Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele
- Dembele won the 2018 World Cup but hasn’t featured since that year for France
Tanguy Ndombele and Ousmane Dembele were the surprise inclusions as Didier Deschamps shuffled his pack for France’s upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
Ndombele has continued to go from strength to strength with Tottenham under Jose Mourinho and has seen his form rewarded with a first call-up since the summer of 2019.
He has six caps to his name and this represents his first call-up since swapping Lyon for Tottenham.
Tanguy Ndombele (left) and Ousmane Dembele (right) have been rewarded recalls by France
Didier Deschamps did not select either player for at least 18 months but has changed his mind
Dembele’s wait for a call up proved even longer with the Barcelona winger selected for the first time since November 2018.
The 23-year-old was part of Deschamps’ side that won the FIFA World Cup in Russia that year but a mix of poor form and injuries has kept him out of contention since.
But he has found his form again to become a key player in Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman’s improving team, scoring eight goals to help them move to second place in LaLiga and reach the Copa del Rey final.
Dembele has scored two goals in 21 appearances for France, 13 of which have been as a substitute.
Ndombele has improved immensely under Jose Mourinho and merited his latest selection
Both men form part of an expanded 26-man squad, which also saw a surprise call-up for Manchester United’s Anthony Martial, who is currently out injured.
Hugo Lloris, Kurt Zouma, N’Golo Kante, Moussa Sissoko and Olivier Giroud are other notable inclusions from the Premier League.
France begin their qualifying campaign at home to Ukraine next Wednesday behind closed doors at the Stade de France.
They will then make the long trip to Kazakhstan on March 28 and will later travel straight from there to Bosnia and Herzegovina for another qualifier in Sarajevo three days later.
The France squad have been handed an exemption allowing them to travel outside the European Union for these qualifiers and thus avoiding having to spend a week in self-isolation on their return.
Dembele has put his Barcelona career back on track and has a first called up since 2018
FRANCE SQUAD IN FULL
Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (Fulham, on loan from PSG), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Mike Maignan (Lille)
Defenders: Lucas Digne (Everton), Leo Dubois (Lyon), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern), Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), 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 Hotspur)
Forwards: 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 (PSG)