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Leicester City's Kante to make France debut

Xinhua, March 18, 2016 Adjust font size:

France coach Didier Deschamps has called up Leicester midfielder N'Golo Kante for the first time for his squad's friendlies against Netherlands and Russia.

The former Caen player, who has been a stand-out in Leicester's title push this season after joining the English Premier League leaders in the offseason, will take the place of Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin.

"N'Golo Kante is playing consistently with high-level performances," commented Deschamps.

"It's not that I don't have confidence in Morgan," he added. "I know what he can do, but before making final decisions (on the Euro 2016 squad) it's important that N'Golo comes with us to get more answers."

West Ham's attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet was also been recalled in Deschamps' 23-man selection, taking the place of Nice winger Hatem Ben Arfa.

France, which to host the European Championship on June 10-July 10, will play the Netherlands in Amsterdam on March 25 and host four days later Russia at Stade de France, where the Euro 2016 opening match and final to be staged.


Goalkeepers: Benoit Costil (Rennes), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)

Defenders: Lucas Digne (Roma), Patrice Evra (Juventus), Christophe Jallet (Lyon), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Jeremy Mathieu (Barcelona), Bacary Sagna (Manchester City), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid)

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace), Lassana Diarra (Marseille), Ngolo Kante (Leicester), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle)

Forwards: Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres de Monterrey), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Dimitri Payet (West Ham)