Euro 2024 Bombshell: Nkunku and Olise Among 5 Top Stars Dropped by France

Euro 2024 Bombshell: Nkunku and Olise Among 5 Top Stars Dropped by France

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
updated at May 18, 2024 at 6:29 AM
In this article:
Christopher Nkunku logo
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Chelsea logoFFrance logo
Malo Gusto logo
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Chelsea logoDFrance logo
Mattéo Guendouzi logo
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Michael Olise logo
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N'Golo Kanté logo
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Al-Ittihad Club logoMFrance logo
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  • Didier Deschamps handed N'Golo Kante a surprise call-up to the France squad
  • Les Bleus have been drawn in Group D alongside Poland, Holland, and Austria
  • Sports Brief looks at notable absentees in France's squad heading to Germany

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Didier Deschamps has unveiled his 25-man squad for the upcoming European Championship in Germany, including a surprising return for N'Golo Kante.

At 33 years old, the Frenchman made a move to Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Pro League last summer after ending his stint at Chelsea.

Despite his almost two-year absence from the national team, he has now been given a chance to represent Les Bleus once again.

France, Christopher Nkunku, Michael Olise, Euro 2024, Malo Gusto, Matteo Guendouzi, Jean-Philippe Mateta, snub, omission, N'Golo Kante.
Christopher Nkunku, Michael Olise, and Malo Gusto are among the top 5 players snubbed by France for Euro 2024. Photos by Darren Walsh, Andrew Kearns - CameraSport and David Horton.
Source: Getty Images

While France is considered one of the favourites to win the tournament, there are some notable omissions from their otherwise star-studded squad.

Chelsea striker, Christopher Nkunku, has been left out due to his injury-plagued debut season, while Michael Olise has also been overlooked.

Sports Brief examines the notable absentees from the squad as the 2018 World Cup champions aim to claim their first European championship title since their victory in 2000.

5 stars left out of France's squad for Euro 2024

1. Christopher Nkunku

The Chelsea forward is perhaps the most notable among those who won't be travelling to Germany this summer. Despite the excitement surrounding his transfer to Stamford Bridge last summer, Nkunku's debut season in the Premier League has been marred by persistent injuries.

However, he recently regained fitness and scored his third goal of the campaign against Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday night as Chelsea pursues European qualification.

Although his inclusion would have bolstered an already potent attack, it's understandable why the 26-year-old has been left out.

2. Michael Olise

While Nkunku's absence from Didier Deschamps' squad may be understandable from a football perspective, Michael Olise's exclusion is nothing short of shocking. The London-born Crystal Palace forward has also faced setbacks due to injuries this season.

However, since his return in April, the 22-year-old has been in scorching form for the Eagles, tallying four goals and two assists in seven appearances, per Transfermarkt.

In total, he has contributed to an impressive 15 goals in 18 Premier League outings this term. Deschamps' decision to overlook Olise is a bold one, but it suggests a preference for experienced players over emerging talents.

3. Malo Gusto

Another exclusion that supports the notion of the French manager favouring experience over young talent is the absence of Chelsea defender, Malo Gusto. The 20-year-old has performed admirably whenever Mauricio Pochettino has called upon him, particularly in his role as Reece James's deputy.

Having played 39 games across all competitions and contributed nine assists this season, Gusto's form speaks for itself.

Given Benjamin Pavard's age and Jules Kounde's less dynamic runs on the right flank, he could have been a valuable addition to the squad.

4. Matteo Guendouzi

Guendouzi has truly flourished since departing Arsenal four years ago, evolving into a promising midfielder. His awe-inspiring performances at Lazio earned him a permanent transfer from Olympique Marseille.

This season, the 25-year-old has contributed three goals and four assists in 40 appearances, playing pivotal roles in key moments such as the first-leg victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Football Italia reports.

However, competition from Eduardo Camavinga, Warren Zaire-Emery, and Adrien Rabiot may have diminished his chances of securing a place in Deschamps' squad.

5. Jean-Philippe Mateta

The burly striker may not carry the same renown as some of his counterparts in French football, but his standout performances under Oliver Glasner warrant recognition.

With an impressive tally of 10 goals in just 12 Premier League appearances since late February, he undeniably stands out as one of the most in-form French strikers, if not the hottest forward at the moment.

Though his playing style bears resemblance to that of the legendary Olivier Giroud, the 26-year-old forward has displayed increased potency and confidence.

Given his current form, Mateta should have merited a place in the squad heading to Germany, providing an additional attacking option for Deschamps in case Giroud and Mbappe falter.

Deshcamps explains Kante inclusion

Sports Brief also reported that France coach, Deschamps, revealed the 25 players selected for the French squad at Euro 2024, including a surprise return for world champion, Kante.

Despite previous injury struggles at Chelsea and his current tenure in the Saudi Arabian league, the Les Bleus coach showed confidence in Kante's experience and his potential impact.

Authors
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.