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Kante back in France squad for Euro 2024

World champion N’Golo Kante will make a surprise return to international football as France coach Didier Deschamps announced Thursday the 25 players that will make up the French squad at Euro 2024.

Kante left English side Chelsea last summer to join Saudi club Al Ittihad and has not represented France since June 2022.

“He played a full season (Kante struggled with injury during his time with Chelsea), albeit not in a European league, as he is in Saudi Arabia,” said Deschamps on French TV channel TF1.

“He’s back to full fitness. With his experience, I’m convinced that the French team will be stronger with N’Golo Kante.”

The 2018 World Cup winner was the big surprise in Deschamps’ squad, but the 33-year-old’s experience will doubtless be a help to youngsters Warren Zaire-Emery and Bradley Barcola, who also made the squad after fine seasons at Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Winger Barcola, 21, is the only uncapped player in the squad but forced his way in with a strong finish to the season, impressing particularly with his performances in the knock-out stages of the Champions League against Real Sociedad and Barcelona.

Also making a return to the international fold is Real Madrid defender Ferland Mendy, who has not played for France since September 2022, but has been a regular this term for his club who are on course to complete a Spanish league-Champions League double.

Star attacker Kylian Mbappe was also included in the squad, as were Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud and Arsenal defender William Saliba.

Mbappe comes into the tournament in fine form, despite uncertainty about where he will play his football next season after confirming he would leave PSG this summer.

The France captain has scored 44 goals so far this

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