France squad news: The curious case of Aymeric Laporte and Didier Deschamps

By 1 year ago

Manchester City’s domestic treble winner Aymeric Laporte has once again been left out of the France national squad by Didier Deschamps for their upcoming Euro qualifiers against Bolivia, Turkey and Andorra.

The news has left many fans and pundits scratching their heads again as to why Laporte is being constantly snubbed by the France coach.

The 24-year old centre-back reacted to the news back in December when he was left out of the initial Euro qualifiers.

“Of course I don’t think it’s because of a sporting issue, you’d have to ask him personally. I don’t have anything personal against him, but if someone has a problem it’s him and not me”, Laporte claimed.

Aymeric Laporte won the domestic treble and was named in the Premier League Team of the Season after his stellar campaign with the Blues.

He also added how he was deeply affected when his fellow Frenchmen won the World Cup last year. “I could be a world champion. But these are the decisions of the coach, who is not calling me for, I think, personal reasons, and I have to respect him.”

The former Atletico Bilbao defender received only one call-up in his time at Spain and still has zero international caps for his country, having played for France’s youth teams on several occasions. However, Laporte had an option to play for the Spanish national team if he would have submitted a request for a dual citizenship whilst in Bilbao.

His decision to switch nationalities could have proved to be a massive boost for Spain who would have greatly benefited with a Pep Guardiola-coached centre-back, given the fact that Sergio Ramos is now 33 and Gerard Pique has already hung his boots for the 2010 World Cup winners.

The Manchester City centre-back has only been called up once and is yet to feature for the first team.

But Laporte, recently, ruled out playing for Spain. “Playing for Spain is out of the question. I’m fighting to play for France because I’m French. I don’t have dual citizenship and I’m not going to apply for it”, he insisted.

Didier Deschamps has said little when asked about his unusual decision to leave out one of Manchester City’s stand-out performers since last year.

Back in December, he said, “I do not have a problem with anyone. When I choose someone it is not for me. I repeat. I only have one thing to say to him and that is that he continues to perform well.”

Didier Deschamps has said that his France team has too many left-footed defenders to accommodate Aymeric Laporte.

“If you tell me he must be in [Adil] Rami’s place then I stop you right away. Sorry but two left-footed defenders at centre-back at international level. We have a lot of left-footers and few right-footers”, Deschamps added.

France’s centre-backs for the upcoming trio of Euro qualifiers include Raphaël Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Clement Lenglet and Kurt Zouma. It is startling that Aymeric Laporte cannot make this squad given his excellent form for Manchester City. Lenglet is a left-sided centre-back and has earned his first call-up, so Deschamps’ comments in December seem a bit inconsistent.

It seems like the France manager indeed has some personal grudge against the player and after the latest snub, it seems very unlikely that Laporte will be called up until Deschamps is in-charge. This could also severely hamper his chances of featuring in next year’s UEFA Euro Championship.

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