France manager Didier Deschamps snubs Anthony Martial ahead of international break

by Leo Nieboer

Anthony Martial has received a blow after being left out of the French national side by Didier Deschamps despite making a scintillating start to the season for Manchester United.

The Frenchman hasn’t featured for his country in almost a year after suffering a dip in form under Jose Mourinho last season, with Deschamps later calling on the youngster to improve his attitude.

Martial’s recent performances in a red shirt, however, have garnered worldwide attention: he has only made four starts this season and claimed five goals alongside four assists.

But Deschamps has continued to deem Dimitri Payet and Thomas Lemar – who have collectively managed zero goals and four assists this season – as more deserving of a place in the national side.

Martial’s omission, speaking from a United supporter’s point of view, is not necessarily a bad thing: he will, after all, be raring to go for the trip to Anfield. And you sense his superb early form this season – that ice cold, raw determination to penetrate defences – is somewhat rooted in a desire to earn a place in Deschamps’ World Cup squad.

On a more general level, however, seeing a player in such ebullient form sidelined for players Deschamps can ‘trust’ is disappointing for French football. No country in the world offers such a plethora of young talent and their current man in the dugout doesn’t appear inclined towards pursuing that as much as possible.

Either way, he will have no choice but to select Martial if he continues in the same vein over the next few months.

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