“Leaving for a big competition with players who are not eligible already occupies too much attention, and for those who have to play, it also monopolizes the medical staff. Me, I consider that it is necessary to leave with valid and suitable players.In his interview with raw last week, coach Didier Deschamps left no room for doubt: to get a ticket for the Blues list, health problems are prohibited.
However, for several weeks, injuries have been linked for the Frenchman, raising fears of many unexpected changes. A week before the announcement of the list (Didier Deschamps will give it live on the 8 pm newspaper of TF1 on Wednesday November 9), we invented.
Kanté and Pogba will not progress
Two executives of the French midfielder have already settled: they will not be part of the adventure in Qatar. Dragging an injury since the start of the season, N’Golo Kanté underwent surgery on Tuesday, October 18 on his hamstrings. His Chelsea club announced that the former Caen and Leicester player’s absence is estimated at four months, making it impossible to participate in the World Cup. Strong man of the 2018 World Cup (seven starts in as many games), the Parisian then chained injuries: since Euro-2021, he has only played three games with the Blues.
For Paul Pogba, the sentence has fallen recently. “La Pioche” withdrew on Monday, through the voice of his lawyer and agent Rafaela Pimenta. “After the medical examinations yesterday (Sunday) and today (Monday), it is very painful to inform that Paul Pogba still needs rehabilitation after his operation (of the knee at the beginning of September). For this reason, he will not be able to participate Paul (…) to the French team in Qatar”. Having undergone surgery for a meniscus in early September, he has resumed collective training with Juventus Turin in recent days, but a new physical breakdown on Sunday delayed his recovery.
At 29, Pogba has not played an official match since April. His departure this summer from Manchester United for Juve gave him hope for a revival in his career, but the French midfielder was injured before the start of the season.
Raphaël Varane is putting the odds on his side
If the two environments are not on the list, many other uncertainties are bound to spoil Didier Deschamps’ plans. Starting with Manchester United’s central defender Raphaël Varane. The former Real Madrid man, who broke down in tears in the match against Chelsea on October 22 after seriously injuring his right thigh, began a race against the clock.
Sunday, the 2018 world champion published, on Instagram, a photo of him in Clairefontaine, where he continues his rehabilitation, where he indicates that he is “feeling better”.
Mike Maignan launched into a time trial
He could also go with Yvelines to carry out his rehabilitation there, but this was vetoed by his AC Milan club. Goalkeeper Mike Maignan suffered a setback on October 20 from a left leg injury during training with the Lombards. He should also fight for time, but in an interview with AFP given on October 25, Didier Deschamps indicated that for the former goalkeeper of Lille and for Raphaël Varane, “the door remains open”.
At the age of 37, there is still an emergency solution in case one of the members of the Lloris/Maignan/Areola trio is absent: Rennais Steve Mandanda was injured on Thursday during the Bretons’ draw at Fenerbahçe ( 3 -3) after “feeling of adductor pain”. Already injured at the start of the season, the former OM goalkeeper remains in trouble. Called up at the last minute in September to replace Mike Maignan in the group, Steve Mandanda has not featured for the Blues since… September 2021.
A complicated start to the season for Karim Benzema
Recently elected Ballon d’Or, he too is having a difficult start to the season: Karim Benzema has missed nine games (combined club and selection) since August. Recently hit in the left quadriceps, the former Lyon striker is often kept by his coach, Carlo Ancelotti. “If he didn’t play it was because he wasn’t feeling well and not because the World Cup was near. And to get in shape at the World Cup, it’s better to play before,” the Madrid technician also made sure to put an end to the rumors about his number 9.
Tchouaméni and Koundé must breathe
At Real Madrid, the situation of another Frenchman is worrying: promised a place in the group, even in the starting 11 in the absences of Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté, Aurélien Tchouaméni is also in trouble. A victim of muscle fatigue, the 22-year-old former Monegasque missed Merengue’s game in Girona on Sunday, and is not in the group that takes on Celtic Glasgow on Wednesday. The newspaper L’Equipe stated that no duration of the incapacity, so far, is known.
Touched last weekend in the league against Valencia, neo-Barcelonian Jules Koundé will also be a victim of muscle fatigue. Retained in the trip to Plzen (2-4), the former Bordeaux player took the opportunity to confront the organizers of the various competitions, pointing out the frantic pace that the players must follow: “There are many match. We’ve slipped down a pretty crazy path, wanting to play a lot of matches… But those at the top are obviously not worried…”
Presnel Kimpembe does not want to (again) sink
He was also retained for the last European Cup match before the break. Parisian Presnel Kimpembe forfeited the match against Juventus on Wednesday due to “discomfort in the right Achilles tendon”. The duration of the French defender’s unavailability is not specified, but PSG instead gives assurance: “Following a blow, Presnel Kimpembe has discomfort in the right Achilles tendon and will remain in care in the middle of training” , assures the champion club of France.
Kimpembe, 27, returned in recent days after a seven-week absence due to a thigh muscle injury. The central defender played during the demonstration against Maccabi Haifa (7-2) before being established on Saturday against Troyes (4-3).
Fofana and Kamara saw the end of the tunnel
Still in central defence, Wesley Fofana (Chelsea) is also in uncertainty. A victim of a sprained left knee in the Champions League match against AC Milan on October 5, the former Leicester defender will be out for a month. Still not in the squad for Wednesday’s welcome to Dinamo Zagreb, the 21-year-old Frenchman should, if time permits, return to the field against Arsenal on Sunday (1 pm) or Manchester City next Wednesday in the glass.
Boubacar Kamara (Aston Villa), for his part, has not given up on the idea of going to Qatar in November. “Bouba will be out until after the World Cup unfortunately, so it’s a blow”, however announced his coach Steven Gerrard (removed from his duties since then) after the former Marseillais was hit in the knee in a game against Southampton on September 16.
However, the 22-year-old returned to collective training on Monday, after spending several weeks at the FIFA medical center in Dubai. The midfielder could return to the field before the break… Just to sow a little doubt in Didier Deschamps’ head.
Some good news though
As for the good news, of the fifteen injured in the September rally, many have found their way back to the field. Hit in the thigh at the beginning of the school year, Theo Hernandez has been on a series of stints at AC Milan since October 8, like Adrien Rabiot at Juventus Turin, after a tough muscle injury. The former’s brother, Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Münich) for his part continued training together with the Bavarians on Monday, October 31. Injured in the adductors since September 13, he did not play the match against Inter on Tuesday (2-0), but could find the yard in the Bundesliga this weekend.
Victim of a torn thigh muscle, Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman continued cautiously, rarely playing more than half an hour. As for captain Hugo Lloris, package in September for the League of Nations, he has fully recovered.
Defender Lucas Digne has just returned from ankle edema: he played 20 minutes this weekend. Another defensive candidate, Ibrahima Konaté (Liverpool) chained two injuries but returned to the group for two games, without playing.