Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan earns France call-up
PARIS (AP) — France coach Didier Deschamps called up three new players on Tuesday, including Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan, for upcoming European Championship qualifiers against Turkey and Andorra and a friendly against Bolivia.
Maignan, who was voted the league’s best goalkeeper last week, was rewarded for his excellent season with French league runner-up Lille.
“Maignan is part of a team which achieved a superb championship, he oozes serenity, his athletic presence is impressive,” Deschamps said.
The 23-year-old Maignan was preferred to Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, who was on France’s World Cup-winning team but was not called up this time.
In the absence of Paris Saint-Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe, who is out injured, Barcelona’s Clement Lenglet was also called up for the first time alongside Lyon right back Léo Dubois.
France will play Bolivia on June 2 before traveling to Turkey on June 8. The team will host Andorra three days later.
France leads its qualifying group with two wins from two games, level on points with Turkey.
With Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris unavailable for the Bolivia friendly because of the Champions League final against Liverpool, Deschamps called up four ’keepers. The two others are PSG’s Alphonse Areola, who is set to start against Bolivia, and Montpellier’s Benjamin Lecomte.
Lloris and Tottenham midfielder Moussa Sissoko will join the rest of the team on June 3 and will be available for the qualifying matches.
Up front, Sevilla forward Wissam Ben Yedder received a second call-up after scoring 30 goals in all competitions this season.
“He can use both feet, he brings speed and efficiency, and has scored in big games,” Deschamps said.
Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette, however, was again overlooked. Lacazette has not played with France since November 2017.
Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Benjamin Lecomte (Montpellier), Mike Maignan (Lille)
Defenders: Lucas Digne (Everton), Léo Dubois (Lyon), Clément Lenglet (Barcelona), Ferland Mendy (Lyon), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid), Kurt Zouma (Everton)
Midfielders: N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham)
Forwards: Wissam Ben Yedder (Sevilla), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain), Florian Thauvin (Marseille)