Hernandez returns to France squad as Pogba left out

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Hernandez returns to France squad as Pogba left out
Lucas Hernandez in action for PSG
Lucas Hernandez in action for PSG
Reuters
Defender Lucas Hernandez (27) has been recalled to the France squad for this month's Euro 2024 qualifier against Ireland and a friendly against Germany, while midfielders N'Golo Kante (32) and Paul Pogba (30) miss out.

Hernandez was sidelined for several months last season after suffering a cruciate ligament rupture at the World Cup, but he has played three Ligue 1 games for Paris St Germain this season after moving to the French champions in July.

Arsenal defender William Saliba (22) also returns to the squad, after recovering from a back injury that kept him out of action earlier this year.

Kante, a 2018 World Cup winner who joined Saudi Pro League side Al Ittihad in June, has been left out of the squad. The 32-year-old has dealt with a string of injury issues in recent years, making just two appearances for France since 2022.

"He's played again, he's played a few games in a row, not all of them full games, with a good level of league, even if the temperatures are high, which isn't ideal," France coach Didier Deschamps told reporters.

"He's just come off a year out. I felt he needed to keep going and the players who were there during his absence lived up to my expectations.

"(Kante) is still eligible for selection, but at this gathering I took the option of confirming the younger players who had already responded well to the expectations of the very highest level."

Pogba has made one substitute appearance for Juventus this season after knee surgery and muscle injuries restricted him to just 161 minutes last season, with Deschamps saying he believes in the midfielder's ability to "get back to his best level".

"He has the mental strength and the experience, but it's not going to happen by snapping his fingers. And if he's back to his best, he'll be a major contender for the France team again," Deschamps added.

France, who are top of Group B, host Ireland on September 7th at the Parc des Princes before travelling to face Germany on September 12th.

France squad

Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (West Ham United), Mike Maignan (AC Milan), Brice Samba (Lens)

Defenders: Axel Disasi (Chelsea), Lucas Hernandez (Paris St Germain), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool), Jules Kounde (Barcelona), Benjamin Pavard (Inter Milan), William Saliba (Arsenal), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich)

Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Boubacar Kamara (Aston Villa), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid)

Forwards: Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Ousmane Dembele (Paris St Germain), Olivier Giroud (AC Milan), Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt), Kylian Mbappe (Paris St Germain), Marcus Thuram (Inter Milan)

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