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It’s fair to say that France have a wealth of talent at their disposal. Despite going a goal behind to Australia in their opening 2022 World Cup match in Qatar, the French showed their power to come back and win 4-1.
It was an impressive performance from Les Blues and, like England before them and then Spain after them, set down a marker, while the likes of Argentina and Germany faltered against Saudi Arabia and Japan respectively.
Kylian Mbappe starred, as usual, with a goal in the opening World Cup clash, with Olivier Giroud taking the headlines with two goals to equal Arsenal legend Thierry Henry on France’s all-time top goalscorers list with 51. But while they have plenty of talented stars on show, a number of players are missing.
The midfield axis of Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante is not present, with both out of the tournament due to injuries. The pair have shone in that France engine room over the years, but now it’s Aurelien Tchouameni, alongside Adrien Rabiot instead.
Despite his absence, though, Kante remains a firm favourite with opposition players. So much so that one Brazilian snubbed Mbappe in favour of the Chelsea star.
In a social media video called the JD Locker Room, with influencer PK Humble, Manchester United star Fred and Arsenal ace William Saliba were asked questions about their international teammates ahead of the World Cup. One of the questions revolved around which player from the opposing country they would like to have.
Saliba chose Neymar, unsurprisingly, but Fred did not go for Mbappe. Instead, he chose Kante.
Fred said: “It’s difficult. A lot of players like Pogba, and Griezmann, but it’s Kante. I love it. When Kante plays, he’s like a shadow. It’s Kante. I can say Mbappe but…”
Kante is out of contract at Stamford Bridge this summer and looks set to leave on a free transfer unless a new contract can be agreed upon.