Home Sports A jaw-droppingly brilliant XI of players left out of France’s Euro 2024...

A jaw-droppingly brilliant XI of players left out of France’s Euro 2024 squad


The French national team seemingly has an endless supply of world class talent at all times, which often makes for some glaring omissions when it comes to major tournaments.

No international manager will ever be able to pick a squad that pleases everybody, but we feel extra sorry for Didier Deschamps, who must have a headache of gargantuan proportions trying to narrow down France’s pool of talent into a 26-player squad.

He’s got a pretty good track record at it, yet we still can’t help but feel he’s missed a few tricks with his preliminary squad for Euro 2024.

We’ve put together an XI of the players who’ve missed out on selection for Les Bleus this summer, and it’s probably better than half the teams going to the tournament.

GK: Lucas Chevalier

Keeping guard for Lille, 22-year-old Chevalier is nailed on to become France’s number one in due course and is still appearing for the under-23 side at international level, but we can’t help thinking that he probably deserved a spot on the plane for Germany.

Chevalier has been immense for Paulo Fonseca’s side this season, keeping a rather freakish 15 clean sheets from 33 Ligue 1 games and combining that with an incredibly modern style, founded upon confident, aggressive goalkeeping and brilliant distribution.

Already a Ligue 1 winner and closing in on a century of appearances for Lille, experience is hardly a sound excuse for a snub.

RB: Malo Gusto

It’s been a season full of ups and downs for Gusto who has probably epitomised the best and worst of Chelsea at times in 2023-24, but overall the 20-year-old can be satisfied with his progress under Mauricio Pochettino and possibly slightly aggrieved that he’s been snubbed by Deschamps.

With Reece James absent for the majority of the season due to injury, Gusto has been thrust in at the deep end and racked up 36 appearances in all competitions, weighing in with an impressive nine assists from right-back.

Considering the competition for his position, this one comes as a shock.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every French player to appear for Chelsea in the Premier League?

CB: Axel Disasi

In defence of Deschamps, France have a ridiculous number of options at centre-back – both experienced and youthful – and Disasi hasn’t always convinced for Chelsea when counted on.

Having said that, the towering defender is a more than serviceable option and – when running hot – is a brilliant central defender, either to start or to have in rotation.

We could’ve gone for young Leny Yoro in his place, but with the Olympics also on the cards this summer, there’s a good chance we see the youngster in Paris.

CB: Jean-Clair Todibo

After a tough start to his career at Barcelona, Todibo appears to have bounced back phenomenally in the last year or two and his stock is extremely high heading into the summer, with many talking up a transfer from Nice to Manchester United.

The 24-year-old has only been capped twice by France, though, and still can’t find a way in. Given the fact that Deschamps has the likes of William Saliba, Ibrahima Konate, Benjamin Pavard and Jules Kounde all at his disposal, a starting berth probably wasn’t realistic.

But considering Dayot Upamecano has managed to sneak onto the plane, we’re confused as to why Todibo hasn’t snatched his spot off him.

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TRY A QUIZ: Can you name the 30 French players with the most Premier League appearances?

LB: Adrien Truffert

A name that might not be familiar to those who don’t pay close attention to Ligue 1, Truffert has been one of the French top-flight’s best performers at full-back for Rennes this season and is only 22.

With one France cap to his name, coming back in 2022, Truffert appears to have fallen out of favour while he learns his trade some more. He was never going to start over Theo Hernandez, but as a backup he would’ve been a sound pick.

Perhaps the Olympics beckons.

CM: Matteo Guendouzi

Another one who might find himself playing at the Olympics, Guendouzi has actually managed to shake off the bad boy reputation he seemed to pick up at Arsenal and is now a rather important piece of the puzzle for Maurizio Sarri at Lazio.

The 25-year-old has been capped eight times for Les Bleus, but none of those came in 2023 and only one has come in 2024 so far.

Considering N’Golo Kante has managed to work his way back into the team despite playing in Saudi Arabia, this feels like a pretty harsh exclusion.

We’re happy to have you in our team, Matteo. Just behave yourself, please. We’ve just about picked you over Youssouf Fofana, so make it count.

CM: Enzo Le Fee

Hyped up as the next big thing as recently as last year, Le Fee has flown under the radar somewhat since swapping Lorient for Rennes in Ligue 1, but his performances still check out.

An intelligent user of the ball be it by carrying it through the lines or pinging passes to teammates, the 24-year-old represented France at the 2020 Olympics and deserves the chance to progress into the senior setup, but hasn’t been afforded that opportunity just yet.

CM: Rayan Cherki

Cherki has been bogged down in what has proven a difficult season overall for Lyon, but there’s absolutely no doubting the midfielder’s potential, which is why he’s providing the creative spark in our XI.

His form has picked up considerably in 2024 and with a tough season out of the way, there’s no reason why he can’t be the driving force for a resurgent Lyon in 2024-25, fuelled by a Euro 2024 snub – if he remains at the club, of course.

His debut as a 16-year-old seems like years ago, and yet he’s still only 20. Cherki has absolutely bags of time to burst into superstardom and force Deschamps’ hand.

RW: Michael Olise

Not selecting Olise for the Euros might just prove to be fatal for France, with the winger also eligible to represent England and yet to pledge his allegiance to either nation at international level.

It’s frankly astounding to think that he could be sat at home twiddling his thumbs this summer, despite being able to play for both countries, off the back of the 2023-24 season he’s put together.

Words don’t do justice to exactly how joyous Olise is when in full stride, and how menacing he must be for defenders to shut out.

In a season where he missed 20 games across all competitions through injury, the 22-year-old still punched in 10 goals and five assists from the 18 games he did play.

That is outrageous. Dress it up however you like, France have missed a trick.

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ST: Christopher Nkunku

Injuries have decimated Nkunku’s debut season at Chelsea – to the point where you’d be forgiven for forgetting he’d signed – but he’s now back to fitness and immediately back among the goals.

We won’t criticise Deschamps too much for this one given the fitness record and the other options available in the form of Kylian Mbappe, Randal Kolo-Muani, Marcus Thuram and Olivier Giroud, but it’s a shame to know such a talented player will be left at home.

The timing hasn’t been quite right this time around for the 26-year-old, but a snub now might be the ammunition he needs to fire on all cylinders next season.

LW: Moussa Diaby

We’ve shoehorned him in a little bit here, but we needed an excuse to get Diaby in the side considering his debut season at Aston Villa.

It hasn’t been consistently electrifying and that’s perhaps what has tempted Deschamps to prioritise others, but when he’s been on it, Diaby has been unstoppable.

Already capped 11 times for France, it’s clear that Deschamps sees something in the winger, but for whatever reason he’s pursued other options for the time being.

We find that incredibly bizarre given how good Diaby is technically, and given the fact he’s racked up six goals and eight assists in his debut Premier League season.

At the same time, none of us at Planet Football have won a World Cup or a Euros before. Don’t count us out, though, it’s coming with an XI like this.

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