Sunday Aug 30, 2020. 13:00
France head coach Didier Deschamps has explained why he called up three players of African descent, Houssem Aouar, Eduardo Camavinga and Dayot Upamecano.
The trio has been handed their maiden Le Bleus call-ups ahead of the team’s UEFA Nations League matches against Sweden and Croatia which will be played next month.
Aouar, Camavinga and Upamecano are of Algeria, Angola and Guinea-Bissau descent respectively.
Aouar, 22, who is an attacking midfielder by trade, played an instrumental role in helping French giants Olympique Lyonnais reach the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
“He [Aouar] has technical skills, he is able to score goals. He has brought more continuity to his performances,” Deschamps said on Goal. https://www.goal.com/en/news/france-boss-deschamps-reveals-reasons-for-selecting-aouar/ju8m461yeivc1klby0ti8k9yz
“He’s still a young player. We had been following him for a long time. I often talk to [France Under-21 manager Sylvain] Ripoll, he gives me more information.
“[Aouar] is rather versatile, he is an attacking midfielder that can be axial. He is more efficient in the offensive phase, in the use of the ball. He has a lot of interesting things.”
While 17-year-old Angola-born central midfielder Camavinga played an integral role in helping Rennes finish third place in the 2019/20 French Ligue 1 and the team qualified for the Champions League for the first time.
“I know his [Camavinga’s] trainer well. It might come early, but sooner or later it would have come,” Deschamps continued. “In terms of personality, it shows when he’s on the pitch. He has an influence despite his young age,” Deschamps said.
“He’s able to do things at his age. We will have to be vigilant, but he has a potential that will make him an integral part of this team sooner or later. It is a pleasure to be able to have him with us at this gathering.”
Touch-tackling central defender Upamecano, 21, was one of RB Leipzig’s star players as they finished third in the 2019/20 German Bundesliga and reached the Champions League semi-finals.
“He’s [Upamecano] a player we’ve been following for a long time. He is one of the players who was likely to come,” Deschamps said. “He is very athletically, he goes fast, good in duels.
“The ball is not a problem for him, even if he must be careful not to abuse it too much at times. He’s young, I felt it was time to prepare him. It is up to him to maintain this level. He still has a good margin of progress.”