David Ginola suspects Anthony Martial might be tempted into leaving Manchester United after being omitted from France’s World Cup squad.
Martial missed out when Didier Deschamps named his 23-man squad for Russia on Thursday, being placed on the stand-by list despite starting France’s last friendly game in March.
The 22-year-old’s omission comes after he was marginalised at United following the arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in January and speculation linking him with a summer move to Chelsea.
“The main reason Anthony Martial is not in the squad is that you need to be a regular in your club before becoming a regular in your national team,” former France international Ginola told Press Association Sport.
“Deschamps has so many options and choices – strikers like Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezemann who have been consistently good for France – that it’s not as if he has to be in there if he’s not playing.
“Players like Martial need to play and score goals for the confidence, they need to be a regular.
“If he is not a regular at Manchester United he will probably search for another club and find one if he wants to.
“But I think Manchester United is a great club for him and it’s up to him to give more in training and in games.
“If Jose Mourinho doesn’t play him more regularly he probably thinks it’s because he doesn’t give his best all the time.
“I don’t see a manager like Mourinho not playing a player who can make him win games. It doesn’t work like that.”
France’s huge strength in depth was reflected by Martial being joined on the stand-by list by Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette, Paris St Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot and Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman.
Premier League trio Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea) and Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace) also missed out on selection.
“I think it is a nightmare for Deschamps to put 23 players on the list,” said Ginola, speaking at a Football Association of Wales coaches conference in Newport.
“Rabiot is the one who is unlucky for me – he is in a massive squad at Paris and played all through the season.
“I’m quite amazed he did not make the 23 because this is a player who can give you the maturity of all those big games he has played.
“He is the only one I could see left out who could fit into the squad.”
France start their World Cup campaign against Australia in Kazan on June 16.
Their group also includes Denmark and Peru and Ginola, now a pundit on French television, feels France are genuine contenders to win the tournament.
“When you look around you don’t see a side like that Spain one that was holding all the trophies,” Ginola said.
“Of course, teams like Brazil and Germany are always there, but we’ve played against them and we have proved we can face anyone.
“We have the talent to beat anyone and, although it’s a young team, it’s one that has so much experience in terms of games.
“The list of players is amazing, now Deschamps has to get the best out of them in the way he wants to play.”