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Konate gets France recall for Euro 2024 qualifier

Liverpool centre-back Ibrahima Konate earned a recall to the France squad on Thursday following injury for next week’s Euro 2024 qualifier against the Netherlands and a friendly with Scotland.

France coach Didier Deschamps also selected Marseille defender Jonathan Clauss for the first time in over a year as his side look to secure their place at next year’s tournament in Germany.

The 2022 World Cup runners-up top Group B with a maximum 15 points from five matches and can make sure of qualification with a victory over the Dutch in Amsterdam on October 13. 

The Netherlands are six points behind in second but have a game in hand. France won the first meeting 4-0 at home in March.

Konate started the first four qualifiers but missed the 2-0 win over the Republic of Ireland and a defeat by Germany in a friendly last month because of a hamstring injury. 

Clauss returns to the France set-up despite the crisis currently afflicting Marseille, whose coach Marcelino Garcia Toral resigned after just seven games in charge following an angry meeting between supporters groups and club directors.

“There’s a question of competition, and because of what he does at his position, with the qualities he has, it’s good to see him again as a right-back,” said Deschamps. 

Kylian Mbappe has scored four goals in five qualifiers but has struggled since suffering an ankle injury against Marseille two weeks ago. 

“He’s not in his best form, reflecting his club’s results. Obviously Kylian, with all he’s capable of and the influence he has on the results of his team, that has a big impact,” said Deschamps.

“But there are phases where players are not performing as well for various reasons. Is it the summer period where he didn’t have a normal pre-season? But I don’t have any concerns about Kylian, his desire, his competitive mindset.

“I know him well enough that he won’t satisfied with what he’s doing. Even when he does things well or very well he still wants to do better.”

France host Scotland in Lille on October 17 before concluding their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign next month at home to Gibraltar and then away to Greece.

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