Anthony Martial, Alexandre Lacazette and Dimitri Payet have all been left out of the France squad for the World Cup.
Manchester United forward Martial, who has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford this summer, and Arsenal striker Lacazette had to be content with a place on the standby list, having failed to make it into the 23-man group announced by the French Football Federation on Thursday.
Payet, the former West Ham midfielder now at Marseille, will miss this summer’s tournament in Russia after aggravating a muscle injury during his side’s Europa League final defeat to Atletico Madrid.
France coach Didier Deschamps said Payet, who was in tears as he limped out of Wednesday night’s game, would likely have made the squad had it not been for his injury, which made his selection too big a gamble.
“Without injury he was a serious contender to be in the 23,” Deschamps told a press conference, as reported by L’Equipe.
“He played the first half hour of the final and the situation got worse for him.
“The recovery time for this type of injury is three weeks before being fit to play. But as it is muscular, there is a significant risk of it happening again.”
The omission of Martial and Lacazette is an indication of the wealth of attacking options at Deschamps’ disposal, with the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele and Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud, who moved to Stamford Bridge from Arsenal in January, named in the squad.
Another striker, Payet’s team-mate Florian Thauvin, who has excelled in the south of France after an unhappy spell at Newcastle, will also go to Russia.
Giroud’s Chelsea team-mate N’Golo Kante has also been included, while Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, Manchester City left-back Benjamin Mendy, who has spent the majority of the season out injured with a cruciate ligament rupture, and United midfielder Paul Pogba are the other England-based players in the party.
Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman had to be content with a place on the standby list, alongside the likes of Tottenham’s Moussa Sissoko, Crystal Palace’s Mamadou Sakho and Kurt Zouma, on loan at Stoke from Chelsea.
Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny had already been ruled out of the tournament after suffering a ruptured Achilles.
France have three warm-up games ahead of the World Cup – against the Republic of Ireland on May 28, Italy four days later and the United States on June 9.
They start their World Cup campaign against Australia on June 16, with Peru and Denmark the other teams in their group.
France squad for World Cup:
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Alphonse Areola (Paris St Germain); Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris St Germain), Adil Rami (Marseille), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid); Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Steven Nzonzi (Sevilla); Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Kylian Mbappe (Paris St Germain), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Florian Thauvin (Marseille), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Thomas Lemar (Monaco).
Wissam Ben Yedder (Sevilla), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Benoit Costil (Bordeaux), Mathieu Debuchy (St Etienne), Lucas Digne (Barcelona), Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Adrien Rabiot (Paris St Germain), Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham), Kurt Zouma (Stoke).