The list of glitches suffered by the Blues since the start of this June rally, particularly dense in Nations League matches – four in eleven days – is long. But not surprising. The players of the France team, who play for almost all in top European clubs, end this season on the kneecaps. A fairly uneven accumulation of matches within the France group itself. But who draws certain trends.
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Saliba at the top, the Ben Yedder paradox
Let’s start at the beginning: who has played the most among all French players, club and selection combined? Unsurprisingly, eight of the ten elements with the most appearances this season are part of Didier Deschamps’ list for this rally. And it is William Saliba who has everyone in agreement for this 2021-2022 financial year, both in number of matches played – 62 including… 52 with OM – and in minutes spent on the green rectangle (5440).
If we first take into account the minutes played, Aurélien Tchouaméni (61 matches, 4875′) and Hugo Lloris (53 matches, 4800′) complete the podium, closely followed by another Marseillais, Matteo Guendouzi (4735 minutes ), appeared 60 times. Karim Benzema (55 matches, 4576′), Kylian Mbappé (54 matches, 4522′), Christopher Nkunku (55 matches, 4314′) and Jules Koundé (52 matches, 4324′) are also in this top 10.
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Only 31st in the ranking of minutes (3668), Wissam Ben Yedder, very often replaced with AS Monaco, is 4th in the ranking of the number of appearances (57). Alphonse Areola, who has only accumulated 18 matches, is at the bottom in all categories among the players in this gathering.
On closer inspection, only three absolutely indisputable holders of Didier Deschamps – it is still early to consider Tchouaméni as well – appear in the top 10: Lloris, Benzema and Mbappé. Many other executives haven’t had the chance to play as much, for various reasons. Without even talking about Paul Pogba, who is absent, Lucas Hernandez (37 matches, 2960 minutes), N’Golo Kanté (45 matches, 2940 minutes) and Raphaël Varane (36 matches, 2873 minutes) paid for their physical glitches.
“When we see Ben Yedder’s matches, we can have a thought for Giroud”
Griezmann dominates everyone in the selection, Kanté is rare
Less confident, Antoine Griezmann played a lot of games – 51 in total – but “only” 3424 minutes, the fault of premature changes made by Diego Simeone, who often makes the French one of his first victims. If the left-hander is no longer as indisputable as in the good old days in club, nothing has changed in selection: “Grizou” is the player who has the most matches with the Blues (12), where to see Kanté in selection becomes an event (3 appearances since September).
Nkunku, Kimpembe, Diaby… who scored the most points?
On arrival, the players less used during the season are the most in difficulty of this gathering, with rare exceptions like Kingsley Coman. Because if we take a look again at the heights of the classification, the Benzema-Nkunku-Mbappé trio is fueled – when he plays, for the latter -, Saliba continues to chain, Tchouaméni to assert himself, Guendouzi to gain strength. international experience.
Not a reason, however, to pull on the rope indefinitely. Didier Deschamps understood this, spinning as much as he could. And Kylian Mbappé proved it, even agreeing to play on a leg and a half. Let’s hope that the last effort, Monday, will not be too many.
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