Marcus Thuram was handed the last spot in the France squad that will defend its World Cup title in Qatar while the uncapped Axel Disasi was also called up on Monday after Presnel Kimpembe had to pull out.
The French soccer federation said Borussia Mönchengladbach forward Thuram, 25, had been added to Didier Deschamps’ list after the coach had summoned only 25 players when he announced his squad last week, leaving one spot open.
Paris Saint-Germain defender Kimpembe, meanwhile, spoke with Deschamps and the team’s doctor at France’s training ground on Monday and told them he did not believe he had sufficiently recovered from an Achilles injury.
France said in a statement it thanked the 27-year-old Kimpembe for his “honesty.”
Disasi, 24, has not missed a single minute of Monaco’s 15 league games this season. He has scored two goals and delivered four assists in all competitions.
Thuram will complement France’s already impressive attacking sector alongside Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (AC Milan), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (PSG) and Christopher Nkunku (Leipzig).
Thuram, the son of the 1998 World Cup winner Lilian Thuram, has been in impressive form this season, with 13 goals and four assists in all competitions. A tall and versatile player, he can be used in different systems.
He said on his Instagram account that being called up is “a dream and a pride.”
Thuram has played four times with France but has not featured with the national squad since the European Championship in June last year.
France will be without Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante because of injuries, depriving Deschamps of his two best midfielders from the 2018 World Cup.
The squad flies to Qatar on Wednesday before launching its campaign against Australia on Nov. 22. It then faces Denmark before completing its Group D matches against Tunisia on Nov. 30.