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Moussa Diaby recalled to France squad, Malo Gusto misses out

Moussa Diaby recalled to France squad, Malo Gusto misses out
© Reuters
Aston Villa winger Moussa Diaby earns a recall to the France squad for their upcoming friendlies with Germany and Chile.

Aston Villa attacker Moussa Diaby has earned a recall to the France squad for their upcoming international friendlies with Germany and Chile.

The former Bayer Leverkusen attacker has hit the ground running during his debut season in the Premier League, coming up with four goals and seven assists in 28 top-flight games to help propel the Lions into Champions League contention.

Diaby has also netted once in the Europa Conference League and once in the FA Cup for Unai Emery's side, although his contributions in the top flight have dried up since the turn of the year, registering just one assist in 2024 so far.

The 24-year-old has failed to make a starting lineup in the Premier League since the end of January, but thanks to his early-season exploits, he will be donning his national colours again this month for the first time since March 2023.

Diaby takes the place of Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman, who is currently sidelined with a serious knee injury, but Didier Deschamps has snubbed 21-year-old Paris Saint-Germain winger Bradley Barcola.

It is as you were in the French attack otherwise, as captain Kylian Mbappe and vice-captain Antoine Griezmann join Diaby, Ousmane Dembele, Randal Kolo Muani, Olivier Giroud and Marcus Thuram.

Real Madrid duo Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga have earned expected recalls after missing November's fixtures through injury, while 18-year-old PSG starlet Warren Zaire-Emery is also back in Deschamps's midfield selection.

Diaby's Villa teammate and long-term knee victim Boubacar Kamara makes way alongside Nice's Khephren Thuram, as Adrien Rabiot and Youssouf Fofana complete the five-strong engine room selection.

In defence, Liverpool's Ibrahima Konate and Inter Milan's Benjamin Pavard are both back, leading to Chelsea's Axel Disasi and Nice's Jean-Clair Todibo being cut from the ranks.

However, Chelsea right-back Malo Gusto loses out to Marseille's Jonathan Clauss and Barcelona's Jules Kounde, while there is no change in the goalkeeping department, as Alphonse Areola, Mike Maignan and Brice Samba are summoned.

France host Germany at Lyon's Groupama Stadium on March 23, three days before Chile arrive for a friendly at Marseille's Stade Velodrome.

Deschamps's side then take on Haiti in their final pre-Euro 2024 friendly in June before tackling Austria, the Netherlands and either Wales, Finland, Poland or Estonia in Group D of the continental championships.


FRANCE SQUAD IN FULL

Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola, Mike Maignan, Brice Samba

Defenders: Jonathan Clauss, Lucas Hernandez, Theo Hernandez, Ibrahima Konate, Jules Kounde, Benjamin Pavard, William Saliba, Dayot Upamecano

Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga, Youssouf Fofana, Adrien Rabiot, Aurelien Tchouameni, Warren Zaire-Emery

Attackers: Ousmane Dembele, Moussa Diaby, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Randal Kolo Muani, Kylian Mbappe, Marcus Thuram

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