Laporte included in France squad for Euro 2020 qualifiers

France coach Didier Deschamps has called up Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Albania and Andorra (AFP Photo/Lionel BONAVENTURE) (AFP)

Paris (AFP) - France coach Didier Deschamps has included Manchester City centre-back Aymeric Laporte in his squad announced on Thursday for next month's Euro 2020 qualifying double header against Albania and Andorra.

Laporte, 25, was last called up to a squad in March 2017 but has never been capped by France at full international level.

This time he has been preferred to Barcelona's Samuel Umtiti, meaning there is a total of 10 players in the squad who did not take part in France's triumphant 2018 World Cup campaign.

"He is there. I think today he is finally going to be happy, unlike all the other times," Deschamps said at a press conference in Paris.

"Aymeric is at a big club where he is performing well. He was last season and he continues to do so. It seemed logical to me that he should be with us for this get-together."

There is also a first call-up for the 21-year-old Lille forward Jonathan Ikone, who is included thanks to Kylian Mbappe's absence with a hamstring injury.

Other notable injury absentees include Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele and Manchester United's Anthony Martial.

Also missing are midfield duo N'Golo Kante of Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur's Tanguy Ndombele.

France are top of Euro 2020 qualifying Group H with nine points from four games, although they are ahead of both Turkey and Iceland only on goal difference.

They won 4-0 away to minnows Andorra in their last qualifier in June.

The World Cup holders welcome Albania to the Stade de France on September 7 and then entertain Andorra at the same venue three days later.

France squad

Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG), Mike Maignan (Lille)

Defenders: Lucas Digne (Everton/ENG), Leo Dubois (Lyon), Clement Lenglet (Barcelona/ESP), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich/GER), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City/ENG), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich/GER), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid/ESP), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea/ENG)

Midfielders: Blaise Matuidi (Juventus/ITA), Steven Nzonzi (Galatasaray/TUR), Paul Pogba (Manchester United/ENG), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham/ENG), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich/GER)

Forwards: Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich/GER), Nabil Fekir (Real Betis/ESP), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea/ENG), Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona/ESP), Jonathan Ikone (Lille), Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid/ESP)