Didier Deschamps gave a press conference yesterday afternoon upon announcing his latest France squad, to face Andorra and Albania in upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Highlights from it courtesy of France Football:
On Jonathan Ikoné’s 1st call-up:
Obviously, what he achieved with his club last season. And then what he was capable to do with the France U21s. His arrival is also linked to injuries of course. I took Jonathan because he played 38 matches last season in the league and he was good. But he came to the U21 Euros a little tired. He brings a lot, he is a destabilising force. He has very good qualities, speed, precision. And efficiency in front of goal and with interesting assists.
On Aymeric Laporte’s return:
He is here. He is finally going to be happy after the other times that he was not here. The squad today, is not in the same thinking as that of June or that of next October. He is in a great club and continues to perform well. It is logical that he should be a part of this latest squad gathering.
On Wissam Ben Yedder’s move to AS Monaco and Deschamps’ role in the move:
I am not here to advise him. I gave an opinion, that is true, but I did not advise him. They all have their own advisors, their own families. And whether he had stayed at Sevilla or gone to Monaco, it would’ve been the same. He had a great season with Sevilla last year. He is in a position of continuity in terms of previous squads.
On the absence of Samuel Umtiti:
I do not forget what Samuel Umtiti can bring and has given to this team. He was not in a simple situation already back in March, nor was he in June either. He had some physical problems as well, which have been partially resolved. It was a tough decision, I did it by being logical with my thinking. Time is passing. I make one happy, the other not, it is like that. The French national team is moving forward and what is happening today, then in two months or more, it will not be the same thing. We need to provide a bit of oxygen from time to time to regenerate.