The Blues will have to do without Aymeric Laporte, who obtained Spanish nationality and should join La Roja for the Euro this summer. But whether in the short term or over a longer time, the France team can be reassured in view of the quality of its reservoir as a central defender.
Should we be worried about the “sports naturalization” of Aymeric Laporte in favor of Spain? The Manchester City defender, who has never played in an official match with the France A team, obtained a Spanish passport one month away from the Euro this summer (June 11-July 11). This will allow him to compete with La Roja, if the coach Luis Enrique calls him.
For the Blues, even if Didier Deschamps has always preferred other choices, it is a significant option and less in central defense. Despite everything, the reservoir of French football in this sector of play remains satisfactory.
Three executives who have the confidence of Deschamps
Since the 2018 World Cup, Didier Deschamps relies mainly on three men: Raphäel Varane, Clément Lenglet and Presnel Kimpembe. The first is indisputable holder in the right axis and his performances in selection are constant. This was particularly seen during his period of poor form with Real Madrid.
For the left axis, the hierarchy has been reversed since Clément Lenglet experienced some difficulties with FC Barcelona. Presnel Kimpembe has walked past him, although his final weeks with Paris Saint-Germain are somewhat disappointing. But overall, the Varane-Lenglet or Varane-Kimpembe hinges give full satisfaction to Didier Deschamps. Samuel Umtiti, handicapped by his repeated injuries, no longer enters the plans.
The replacements are on the upswing
He only has eight appearances with the blue jersey, but Kurt Zouma has become Raphaël Varane’s No. 1 replacement for the right axis position. He is not indisputable holder with Chelsea, but his good performances have become regular. For the national team, its direct competitor is Dayot Upamecano.
The latter has the advantage of youth (22 years against 26), and was able to discover the tricolor tunic last fall. Didier Deschamps started him three times, in particular to test a pattern with three central defenders, which the player knows very well at RB Leipzig. While he may not be fully convinced, Dayot Upamecano may well take on a new dimension starting next season. Bayern Munich, who will lose David Alaba, have already settled their transfer for the upcoming summer transfer window.
Hopes make a good impression
They are not all titular in big clubs, and do not yet have an international level. But everything indicates that they could go much higher. There are many young French central defenders with good potential: Jules Koundé (Seville), Ibrahima Konaté (Leipzig), Wesley Fofana (Leicester), Benoît Badiashile (Monaco), Maxence Lacroix (Wolfsburg), Mohamed Simakan (Strasbourg then Leipzig) ) … There is a good chance that one of them, at least, will end up breaking through, competing with the current holders and, ultimately, making Aymeric Laporte forget.