France manager Didier Deschamps says Chelsea centre-back Kurt Zouma deserves his place in the squad, even though many are questioning his decision to omit the likes of Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte and RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano.
Despite having won six major trophies during his time with the Citizens, Laporte has remarkably never been capped at senior level for France, and Deschamps says he simply chose Zouma instead of other options as he felt he was the best available:
“Kurt has been with us for a while, he’s been called up many times but hasn’t played that much. If I pick him it’s because I think he’s better than the other people because of what he’s doing at Chelsea. He had a few injuries in a row but now he’s been very fit for a while, he’s very calm, so he’s here.”
There’s clearly an issue between Deschamps and Laporte. In the past, he has argued that he has too many left-footed centre-halves to choose from but the fact that he has chosen the out of form PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe ahead of him, as well as Zouma, indicates there is more to this situation.
City fans may not mind too much, though, as at least Laporte can have a rest during the international break, and won’t be risking getting injured whilst away with the national team.