Real emptiness to come! The end of Raphaël Varane’s international career will not be without impact, in the short term at least, on the landscape of the France team. The weight of his absence will first be felt behind the scenes where he had asserted himself over the years, and even more so during the last World Cup, as a listened to and respected locker room executive. Then on the ground. If the retirement of Hugo Lloris, which took place on January 9, will put Mike Maignan in full light in March, on the occasion of the start of the Euro 2024 qualifiers against the Netherlands and Ireland, that of the Mancunian widens the field of possibilities with regard to the wealth of the tricolor reservoir in this position.
It could bring us back to a situation experienced against Australia, for the first match of the Blues in Qatar (4-1). Didier Deschamps, eager to take no risk with Varane, in relation to his injury to the femoral biceps of the right thigh contracted on October 22, then chose to associate Dayot Upamenaco with Ibrahima Konaté. A young and inexperienced hinge in blue with 9 cumulative selections before this meeting.
In the end, the two friends come out with the honors, the Munich player winning, by the way, his left side his stripes as a holder throughout the competition. Consequently, logic pleads in favor of this pair for the next deadlines. The two acolytes have had their destiny somewhat linked since their late teens and their joint time in Leipzig. “Ah yes, there is a good understanding, Upamecano abounded during the Qatari tournament. Four years in the same jersey in Leipzig, even though we’re both French… We know each other everywhere, on and off the pitch. We’ve been in constant contact, even since we left. »
Behind them, a nice reservoir
Him at Bayern and his younger brother at Liverpool. Currently out of action after his hamstring injury on Sunday during the Reds’ defeat to Brighton (1-2) in the Cup, Konaté should be out for at least two weeks. If this deadline is respected, he will apply for a starting place with the Bavarian against the Batavians. Behind them, the Monegasque Axel Disasi, the Gunner William Saliba, even Jules Koundé used right lane in Qatar, also have arguments to present. The remark also applies to Benoît Badiashile called to the A in September and today to Chelsea where he rubs shoulders with another applicant for the Blues in the person of Wesley Fofana. The versatile Pierre Kalulu (AC Milan) and Mohamed Simakan (Leipzig) could also knock on the door.
Unavailable for many months after his rupture of the cruciate ligaments of the knee against Australia, Lucas Hernandez offers another alternative, but more in a three-axial system, opportunely abandoned before the start of the World Cup. And what about Presnel Kimpembe? The 2018 world champion has a role to play in this redistribution of the cards. He has thickness with his 28 caps on the counter and rallies, at his best level, many votes. But his long absence since the fall due to problems with the Achilles tendon, then the hamstrings raises questions. At PSG, if we are to believe the vain efforts to recruit Skriniar this winter, his role may seem less important than it has been.
In the France team, he is appreciated by the staff, but has never managed to really impose himself despite his 24 tenures. It prevents. His competitive soul and his experience will not be superfluous in a juvenile game sector. In this area, we will see more clearly on the intentions of the coach by the end of March.