William Saliba's breakthrough at Arsenal earns call-up to France World Cup squad

Defending champions France have named William Saliba in their World Cup squad after the defender made a name for himself at Arsenal this season.

The biggest surprise with the France World Cup squad announcement was head coach Didier Deschamps' decision to name a squad of only 25 players when 26 are allowed. No explanation was offered as to why.

Manchester United defender Raphael Varane was also named despite tearing his hamstring. The 29-year-old was a doubt for the tournament in Qatar with the injury sustained during United's 1-1 draw at Chelsea on October 22.

But France boss Didier Deschamps has gambled on Varane's fitness and included him in his 25-man party.

Midfielders N'Golo Kante and Paul Pogba are absent through injury, while United forward Anthony Martial and Aston Villa defender Lucas Digne have missed out.

France squad for the 2022 Fifa World Cup

Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (West Ham), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Rennes)

Defenders: Lucas Hernardez (Bayern Munich), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool), Jules Kounde (Barcelona), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), William Saliba (Arsenal), Dayot Upamencano (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Manchester United)

Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid), Jordan Veretout (Marseille)

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kinglsey Coman (Bayern Munich), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (AC Milan), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig)

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