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Arsenal starlet earns surprise France call-up

Arsenal starlet earns surprise first cap for France as Pogba pulls out

September 2, 2019 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The midfielder will replace the Manchester United star for the upcoming international matches.

Arsenal youngster Matteo Guendouzi is on the verge of making his debut for the France national team after being called up to replace Manchester United's Paul Pogba. The latter pulled out of Didier Deschamps squad for the upcoming upcoming European Championship qualifiers against Albania and Andorra as a result of an ankle injury.

Pogba was seen limping at the end of his side's 1-1 draw with Southampton at the St Mary's on Saturday. A club statement subsequently revealed the presence of the injury after the 26-year-old Frenchman was subjected to scans but withheld information regarding the seriousness of it.

On Monday, Les Bleus' head coach Didier Deschamps initially refused to rule Pogba out while addressing a news conference at Clairefontaine. The 50-year-old manager revealed the midfielder was undergoing tests in Manchester, but his side has since confirmed Guendouzi's call-up to the senior team via its official Twitter account.

"Paul has an ankle problem," Deschamps declared.

"He is currently undergoing exams in Manchester and I am waiting for the results. If he were already unavailable, then I would say."

Guenduozi's summoning is his first-ever for the France senior squad having featured for the under-18 to under-21 level in the past. The 20-year-old midfielder's inclusion is unduly justified after delivering consistent starring performances for Arsenal in the start of the new Premier League season. Against Tottenham on Sunday, the former Lorient prodigy assisted Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang to complete the Gunners' comeback which eventually earned them a vital point.

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