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With the World Cup kicking off and all of the teams announced some of the stronger nations have had to make some hard choices with their selections. France boast one of the strongest squads at the tournament and with their odds for World Cup 2018 sitting at 13/2 they are one of the favourites. However they’ve managed to leave 5 players at home who would walk in to the squads of most other nations.
Club: Arsenal (Premier League)
Appearances (all competitions): 38
Whilst Lacazette hasn’t been at his free-flowing best in an under-performing Arsenal side, he’s got the natural ability to score goals, and lots of them. Managing a goal every other game in his first season in England is not an easy task and he would likely walk into any other starting 11.
Club: Machester United (Premier League)
Appearances (all competitions): 45
Anthony Martial has been in and out of a pretty negative Manchester United team so whilst he’s shown glimpses of his obvious talent, it’s not quite worked out for him so far. Most other nations would have taken him, France have the luxury of being picky.
Club: Paris Saint-Germain (Ligue 1)
Appearances (all competitions): 20
With France’s other top left-back, Benjamin Mendy, being out all season you would have expected Kurzawa to have taken his place at the World Cup. Mendy was only passed fit to play in the last few minutes of the Premier League campaign and yet France have decided to take him anyway, leaving this world-class defender to watch the action from home.
Club: Marseille (Ligue 1)
Appearances (all competitions): 46
Whilst he might not be adored in East London anymore, nobody can doubt the ability that Dimitri Payet possesses. He almost single handedly took an average Marseille team to the Europa League Final before getting injured and ruling himself out of the World Cup. He would have almost certainly been on the plane with the ability to score goals like this.
Club: Manchester City (Premier League)
Appearances (all competitions): 13
Aymeric Laporte was snapped up by Manchester City after a few years bossing the Spanish League for a couple of years and he was slowly introduced to the English game. He’s undoubtedly talented but with the plethora of options available to France, he didn’t quite make the cut.