Anthony Martial’s chances of a late World Cup call-up have been dashed with manager Didier Deschamps saying that France don’t require a replacement for Karim Benzema.
Benzema has been Les Bleus’ leading striker over the past year, but he won’t play any part at the upcoming World Cup in Qatar after suffering a fresh thigh injury in training.
The holders have the option to pursue a replacement over the next 48 hours, but Deschamps has told Telefoot that he is confident with the current set of players for the tournament.
He said: “No [when asked whether Benzema would be replaced]. Because I decided, simply. This is a quality group, united on and off the pitch. I have confidence in them.”
Bad news for Anthony Martial
Martial has had a difficult season at United with three separate injuries. Despite this, his form has been quite spectacular with four goals and two assists from just seven outings.
The 26-year-old was able to return to full fitness in the weeks leading up to the World Cup break and he could have been a wildcard for Les Bleus in their defence of their title.
However, Deschamps has opted to stick with a 25-man squad after Benzema’s exit. France still have quality with Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud to start up front.
The news will come as a huge disappointment for Martial, who won’t get a last-minute call-up, but looking into the wider picture, he has plenty of time on his hands to work over his fitness.
Martial has been injury-prone for the past 18 months and the mid-season break could be beneficial for him. Erik ten Hag recently said that he is the perfect player to lead the line for him.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com