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Sports

Deschamps drafts in Laporte for World Cup qualifiers

media Didier Deschamps said he had been tracking the progress of Aymeric Laporte. AFP/Lionel Bonaventura

France coach Didier Deschamps called up the Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte to the senior squad for the first time on Thursday for the World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria and the Netherlands.

 

The 22-year-old had expressed frustration at being left out of the squad that started the 2018 world Cup qualifying campaign earlier this month with a 0-0 draw at Belarus.

There there were suggestions he could opt to represent Spain instead.

Laporte has played for France's youth and under-21 teams.

Deschamps, who led France to the final of Euro 2016, drafted in Laporte after injuries to Samuel Umtiti and Adil Rami.

The 47-year-old said he had not brought in Laporte because he feared losing his services to Spain.

"Laporte is someone that we have been following and his time has come," Deschamps said. "I chose from the players that were available. It can happen that there are players injured or unavailable, but at no time would I choose a player for reasons other than what is best for the French team."

Deschamps has recalled captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who missed the start of the season through injury.

France will face Bulgaria at the Stade de France on 7 October and then travel to the Amsterdam ArenA to play the Netherlands on 10 October.

   

 

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