Three years ago, Kanté was playing with Boulogne in the French third division. Now the 24-year-old is only a few games away from being crowned a premier League champion.
The 24-year-old is the only new boy in the list of 23 players for the matches against the Netherlands on 25 March and Russia four days later.
Coach Didier Deschamps has recalled Dimitri Payet, who has been a key factor in West Ham United's gallop to fifth in the Premier League. Payet, has been absent from the squad since last June.
However there is no room for the Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema nor Mathieu Valbuena. The latter has been in poor form for Lyon while the former has been distanced from the squad while his role in a blackmail case involving Valbuena is resolved.
Deschamps said he decided to pick Kanté because of the consistency of his performances for Leicester City.
"Last season he was at Caen in the second division," said Deschamps who skippered France to wins at the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. "I don't want to appear disrespectful but it was only Caen. This season he's been playing well with Leciester City and they're top of the English Premier League."