Anthony Martial back in France squad; no recall for Karim Benzema

Anthony Martial has been rewarded with a recall to the France squad following his excellent form this season with Manchester United, but Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema remains excluded by national team coach Didier Deschamps.

While struggling to establish himself at United following manager Jose Mourinho's arrival at Old Trafford in 2016, Martial dropped out of his country's senior squad, playing his last international in October 2016.

The former Monaco forward, 21, has won over Jose Mourinho this season, however, netting seven goals in all competitions for his club, including four strikes in the Premier League -- most recently the winner in Saturday's 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

"He continues to be effective," Deschamps told a news conference when unveiling his squad for this month's friendlies with Wales and Germany. "He hasn't been in the last five or six squads. Anthony was at the Euro. He had a more difficult time after that, and he's come back well.

"I see him playing well, he's effective when he comes off the bench, but I don't want to just reduce him to a substitute role. He's coming back, he might have come back last time."

Arsenal trio Laurent Koscielny, Alexandre Lacazette and Olivier Giroud were also included as was Tottenham's Moussa Sissoko, who has also returned to favour with club boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, meanwhile, was left out of the squad after suffering an adductor injury in Wednesday's 3-1 Champions League win over Real Madrid.

There were first call-ups for Sevilla midfielder Steven N'Zonzi and Stuttgart defender Benjamin Pavard, though Benzema was again a notable absence from the squad.

In an interview published this week Benzema, who last played for France in October 2015, admitted he still hoped to be handed a recall ahead of next summer's World Cup.

When asked whether he had read the article, Deschamps responded: "I read very little. Some of the key phrases came out. But I always make a choice in terms of the collective, the squad."

France's 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000-winning captain had earlier stated: "There are a lot of players who could be in the squad, but that in itself is limited. This time, like every time, there are eight players in the attacking area, but there are still some who aren't there who could be."

Euro 2016 finalists France host Wales on Friday, Nov. 10 before facing world champions Germany in Cologne four days later.


Goalkeepers: Areola (PSG), Costil (Bordeaux), Mandanda (Marseille)

Defenders: Digne (FC Barcelona), Jallet (Nice), Koscielny (Arsenal), Kimpembe (PSG), Kurzawa (PSG), Pavard (Stuttgart), Umtiti (FC Barcelona), Varane (Real Madrid)

Midfielders: Matuidi (Juventus), N'Zonzi (Sevilla), Rabiot (PSG), Sissoko (Tottenham), Tolisso (Bayern Munich)

Forwards: Coman (Bayern Munich), Fekir (Lyon), Giroud (Arsenal), Griezmann (Atlético Madrid), Lacazette (Arsenal), Martial (Manchester United), Mbappé (PSG), Thauvin (Marseille)