Laurent Blanc handed the chance to end France’s inertia

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
laurent blanc(Photo: Valentin Trijoulet)

laurent blanc

The suspension of France’s disgraced World Cup squad will ensure Laurent Blanc bloods new talent in their upcoming friendly against Norway.

The former Bourdeaux manager faces a mammoth task as he attempts to rebuild the pride of the French nation and construct a squad worthy of the former great Les Blues sides.

Patrice Evra and fellow outcast Nicolas Anelka have borne the brunt of criticism in France since their contentious strike in South Africa. Meanwhile Franck Ribéry faces a jail sentence over alleged misdemeanours with an under-age girl.

Blanc, however, can now begin to rejuvenate an ageing squad. Presumably once the controversy is pacified, talents such as goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, left-back Gael Clichy and playmaker Yoann Gourcuff will return to contention.

In the meantime there is an opportunity to delve into the French production line and grant international caps to some exciting and largely untested prospects.

Blanc is expected to turn to young talent within Ligue 1 to fill his squad for the match against Norway.

One such prospect is the much sought-after Loïc Rémy. The Nice striker has attracted the attentions of multiple English clubs in recent weeks, most notably Arsenal, Liverpool and West Ham.

The 23-year-old, who has inevitably been compared to Thierry Henry thanks to his brisk pace and elegant finishing, has scored 25 goals in 66 league appearances.

At over six foot the forward, who is of Martiniquais descent, is blessed with the raw materials to succeed. Rémy has played for France’s U-21s nine times with a respectable return of three goals and last June he earned his first senior cap making a substitute appearance against Nigeria in a friendly.

Another name almost certainly on Blanc’s shortlist is Bordeaux left-back, Benoit Trémoulinas.

The attacking full-back, who featured regularly during Blanc’s reign at Bordeaux, has flourished in recent seasons, coming to prominence through his creative drives from defence. Trémoulinas, 24, is amongst the top creators of goals in the French league while his defensive attributes are more than adequate.

Thus far he has failed to break into the national team, hampered by the presence of captain Patrice Evra. But with Real Madrid, AC Milan and Tottenham Hotspur rumoured to be interested in acquiring Trémoulinas’ services, a call-up from his former boss seems inevitable.

New Olympique Lyonnais signing Jimmy Briand is another option for Blanc. The 24-year-old gained an impressive reputation at Rennes with his club form earning the striker a call-up to the French senior squad in 2008.

However a serious knee injury sustained during a training session with France prevented his progress and led to six months of treatment before he could return to regular football.

Last season Briand scored five goals in 23 appearances. Lyons paid Rennes €6 million to acquire his services and Blanc is expected to select the striker for next month’s friendly.

Other names which have been touted as possible recruits include Olympique Lyonnais’ Aly Cissokho who will provide competition for Trémoulinas at left-back.

Real Madrid’s Karim Benzeama could receive a call-up though his off-field indiscretions may inhibit his participation. Arsenal’s Samir Nasri is an exciting creative alternative, equally adept on the wing or behind the forward men.

Whoever Blanc selects it will give French supporters and followers of international football an intriguing insight into the future of France’s national side.

MORE:

MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

The Sport Review
Shanghai Masters 2017: Rampant Roger Federer downs Rafael Nadal for 94th career title
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
The Sport Review
Top 20 Nigerian footballers in Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal player wages 2017: Do you know how much Xhaka, Ozil and Coquelin earn each week?
The Sport Review
Joey Barton predicts where Chelsea will finish this season
The Sport Review
Arsenal make final decision about Mesut Ozil’s future – report
The Sport Review
Length of Chelsea star Victor Moses’ injury lay-off confirmed – report