Rayan Cherki called up to France’s Olympics squad after full list of unavailable players revealed

“The last time I faced so many rejections was in school,” joked France U23 manager Thierry Henry upon the announcement of his squad for the upcoming Olympics. With the tournament falling outside of the dates of the FIFA calendar, clubs are not obliged to release their players and so some have not. 

Some clubs informed Henry of their refusal to release players ahead of the announcement of the squad. Aston Villa were one of those clubs. The Premier League side refused to release Lucas Digne and Moussa Diaby, both of whom Henry had intended of calling up. It was also reported that he wished to select Arsenal’s William Saliba but the Gunners were not willing to comply, with the centre-back set to compete in the Euros in Germany. 

Cherki, Matsima and Diouf join France squad

The FFF have now confirmed that Paris Saint-Germain, Lille OSC and Bayern Munich have also refused to release their players. As a result, Bradley Barcola, Warren Zaïre-Emery, Lucas Chevalier, Bafodé Diakité, Leny Yoro and Mathy Tel have all been prevented for competing for Les Bleus in Paris in August.

Replacements have been recruited. AS Monaco’s Chrislain Matsima, RC Lens’ Andy Diouf and Olympique Lyonnais’ Rayan Cherki hav all been called up in their place. The players will meet at Clairefontaine on 16th June in preparation for the tournament. 

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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