Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has been drafted into the France squad for the forthcoming international fixtures, as the world champions turn to the 20-year-old to step in for Paul Pogba.
The 25-man squad for upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers was announced on Thursday and initially included Pogba, but he picked up an ankle injury in the 1-1 draw with Southampton at the weekend, and has been forced to pull out at the last minute.
Pogba’s injury had left Didier Deschamps short of midfield options, but he hasn’t had to look far from London for a replacement, as fellow Premier League star Guendouzi has earned his first senior call-up.
The 20-year-old has missed just four minutes of action for the Gunners so far this season, building on a solid debut season under Unai Emery in 2018/19 to make himself a key part of their midfield; most recently starring in the North London derby on Sunday as the Gunners fought back from two goals down to earn a draw.
His international bow, if he does make a debut against either Albania or Andorra, will come as the latest step forward in what has been a meteoric rise to the top since featuring in Ligue 2 for Lorient a little over a year ago.
There will be a few familiar faces to him within the ranks as it contains a strong Premier League flavour. Manchester City’
Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma and Olivier Giroud, and Everton’s Lucas Digne, make up the rest of a seven-player contingent from England’s top flight.