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'Maybe he can play Giroud' - Deschamps responds to Lampard's Kante plea

The Chelsea boss urged the France manager not to select the 28-year-old.

DIDIER DESCHAMPS HAS joked Frank Lampard should consider playing Olivier Giroud more often for Chelsea in exchange for the France boss leaving N’Golo Kante out of his last squad.

Kante was recalled by Les Blues on Thursday for their upcoming qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey, having been overlooked for selection in September to recover from niggling hamstring and ankle injuries.

Deschamps revealed Lampard has previously spoken to him about not selecting the 28-year-old, who returned to action with 90 minutes against Lille on Wednesday.

However, the World Cup-winning coach wants the favour to be repaid, telling reporters at Thursday’s news conference: “Lampard asked me not to pick Kante at the last break.

“If that’s still the way I’m going to call him later to tell him it would be nice if you play Olivier Giroud a little bit!”

Giroud is Deschamps’ preferred striker but has struggled to get a look in at club level, the 33-year-old playing just 100 minutes of Premier League football this season due to the form of Tammy Abraham.

Deschamps admitted Giroud’s lack of playing time for Chelsea could work against him.

“I do not want to take away from what Olivier has done with us,” said Deschamps. “He has put in some very good performances, not to mention that he is the third-best active French scorer. However, I hope his situation develops.

“Beyond his efficiency with us, it is a matter of rhythm too. He has already gone through spells where he has played less, but now it is not sufficient physically – he cannot be at his best.”

Like Kante, Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe is back in the France squad after missing the wins over Albania and Andorra last month because of a hamstring injury.

Mbappe has featured as a second-half substitute in PSG’s last two matches after missing more than a month and Deschamps will take no risks over his fitness.

“Kylian is back from his first significant injury, so the worst is now behind him,” said Deschamps. “I am not going to take risks with him, despite our two important matches.

“He has a match with PSG this weekend and then we will see his physical condition. Two 90-minute matches in three days is unlikely.”

© – AFP, 2019

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