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The coach in charge of France discusses the choice to leave a Blues player off the national squad.



Christopher Nkunku of Chelsea may have scored his first goal for the team since January in a pivotal victory over Brighton, but getting back to form hasn’t been simple.

After suffering a string of injuries that prevented him from playing for much of the Premier League season, French coach Didier Deschamps has ended Nkunku’s dreams of being called up for Euro 2024.The 26-year-old attacker struggled to recover match fitness after missing the first 16 games of Chelsea’s season with a knee injury.

A hamstring injury kept him out of the game for nine more games just as he was beginning to get into his groove off the bench. Even with his recent goal-scoring prowess, Nkunku’s little playing time fell short of Deschamps’ expectations.

Deschamps gave Equipe de France an explanation for his choice, stating that while he respected Nkunku’s ability to bounce back from injuries, the lack of significant playing time was a deciding factor. Deschamps said, “Of course he could have been called, but he had a complicated season.” “He’s definitely recovered, but since his injury return, he hasn’t started a match yet.”

The decision to leave out Kunku illustrates Deschamps’ struggle to strike a balance between form, fitness, and competition among a group of gifted offensive players. Despite Nkunku’s obvious talent, Deschamps finally decided to go with players who had more reliable playing time and form.

Malo Gusto and Axel Disasi, two of Nkunku’s Chelsea colleagues, are accompanying him on the sidelines. Gusto surprised everyone by producing six assists during the season despite his excellent performances at right-back. Deschamps had to make difficult decisions, though, and he chose to start players who had a track record of reliability and were prepared for the world stage.

The selection of the French national team by Deschamps underscores the intense struggle for spots as Euro 2024 draws near and the fine line that must be drawn between recognizing present performance and developing future talent. The sadness of not making it to the Euros motivates Nkunku and his Chelsea colleagues to keep striving for success both at home and abroad.

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