Didier Deschamps explains N’Golo Kanté’s France return for EURO 2024 – Get French Football News

Having announced his France squad  for next month’s European Championships on national television this Thursday evening, Didier Deschamps then faced the press immediately afterwards to justify his choices.

The head coach was inevitably asked about N’Golo Kanté’s surprise return to the national team, just under two years after his last appearance with Les Bleus – and having joined Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Ittihad at the start of the campaign. 

The former Chelsea man had missed out on playing at the 2022 World Cup with a hamstring injury, but Deschamps has ostensibly been impressed with the 33-year-old’s return – explaining that he has been following Kanté’s performances in the Middle East since August. 

“He was last called up in June 2022, and what came afterwards was very difficult for him to take, given he missed out on the World Cup with an injury. Since then, though, he’s rediscovered his athletic and footballing abilities – in fact, he’s playing as we speak!”

“The situation was very clear in my mind – I wanted him to return to his best on the pitch, and in the meantime give some playing time to the younger players. I believe that the French national team is better with him, that’s why I made the decision.”

“Regardless of the situation, there’s never any issue when it comes to N’Golo. He’s an angel, everyone loves him. There are no guarantees, of course, but I can tell you that he is very happy.”

In his initial appearance on TF1 earlier in the evening, Deschamps had explained that he was impressed with the number of matches that the midfielder had played this season:  “We can have debates about the intensity of matches in Saudi Arabia, but he’s played more than 4,000 minutes this season, that’s over 40 games. I have no doubts about his strengths.”

Since making his debut back in 2016, Kanté has 53 France caps to his name – a tally he is now set to add to in Germany this summer.

GFFN | Raphaël Jucobin

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