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PSG's Warren Zaire-Emery earns first senior France call-up

Warren Zaire-Emery earns first senior France call-up
© Reuters
Paris Saint-Germain teenager Warren Zaire-Emery earns his first senior France call-up for November's Euro 2024 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Greece.

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Warren Zaire-Emery has earned his first senior France call-up for November's Euro 2024 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Greece.

The 17-year-old has been one of the breakout stars of the season in European football, already contributing two goals and five assists from 14 appearances in Ligue 1 and the Champions League.

Zaire-Emery has cemented a regular starting role in the heart of the French champions' midfield, and he was named captain of his nation's Under-21 team by Thierry Henry earlier this year.

However, after just four appearances for Les Bleuets, Zaire-Emery - who has been linked with Manchester City, Manchester United and Bayern Munich - will join up with Didier Deschamps's men for their final internationals of the year.

France have already assured themselves of a place at next year's European Championships in Germany thanks to a perfect record in Group B, taking 18 points from six games against Gibraltar, Greece, the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland.

France coach Didier Deschamps before the match on June 19, 2023© Reuters

Les Bleus hold a six-point advantage over the Netherlands and Greece, meaning that they only need one draw from their final two games to progress to the Euros as group winners.

Nice's Allianz Riviera will host Les Bleus' clash with a winless and pointless Gibraltar on November 18, three days before Deschamps's team take on Greece at the Agia Sophia Stadium in Athens.

Explaining his decision to include Zaire-Emery, who is the youngest player to earn a senior France call-up since in 109 years, Deschamps told a press conference: "In terms of what he's been achieving at club level since the last international break, he's here with us because he has all the qualities to be at the top level, even if there's obviously competition in his position," as quoted by Get French Football News.

"What he is capable of achieving at such a young age already shows enormous potential and a maturity that is already well established at just over 17. This is obviously an important step for him in his career, everything is moving very quickly for him, but he also has the ability to take on all his responsibilities.

"As I said last month, he's a candidate for the next European Championship. I'm not going to go into detail about the way he's used or the system he uses. He's a complete midfielder at his young age, and he does a lot of things very well.

Al Ittihad's N'Golo Kante pictured on September 1, 2023 © Reuters

"Since I've been coach, I don't choose to put players on the pitch based on their date of birth. If I think it's better for the team, whether he's 17 or 28... that's it. Like Camavinga, these are players who are ready for the very highest level. They potentially have everything it takes."

Zaire-Emery's call-up comes as Real Madrid's Aurelien Tchouameni misses out with the foot injury he sustained in El Clasico, which is likely to keep him on the sidelines until early December.

Inter Milan defender Benjamin Pavard is also ruled out with a knee problem, which he is not expected to heal from for another month, but William Saliba, Dayot Upamecano and Jules Kounde are back after withdrawing from October's squad.

Chelsea's Malo Gusto and RB Leipzig's Castello Lukeba - who were called up as replacements last month - are omitted as a result, while World Cup winner N'Golo Kante also misses out, but Deschamps affirmed that the Al-Ittihad man remains available for selection.


FRANCE SQUAD IN FULL

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

Defenders: Jonathan Clauss (Marseille), Lucas Hernandez (PSG), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool), Jules Kounde (Barcelona), William Saliba (Arsenal), Jean-Clair Todibo (Nice), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich)

Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Boubacar Kamara (Aston Villa) Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Warren Zaire-Emery (PSG)

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

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France and Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate pictured in June 2023
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CParis Saint-GermainPSG342210281334876
2MonacoMonaco34207768422667
3Brest341710753341961
4Lille341611752341859
5Nice341510940291155
6Lyon34165134955-653
7Lens34149114537851
8Marseille3413111052411150
9Reims34138134247-547
10Rennes341210125346746
11Toulouse341110134246-443
12Montpellier HSCMontpellier341012124348-541
13StrasbourgStrasbourg34109153850-1239
14NantesNantes3496193055-2533
15Le HavreLe Havre34711163445-1132
16Metz3485213558-2329
RLorient3478194366-2329
RClermont34510192660-3425


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