The France head coach had an embarrassment of riches to choose from in the forward positions and found no room for the two Premier League stars, who have struggled with form and fitness at times this season.
Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud does make the final 23-man squad along with Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, Nabil Fekir, Thomas Lemar, Antoine Griezmann and Florian Thauvin.
Anthony Martial (left) and Alexandre Lacazette have not made France’s World Cup squad
Didier Deschamps announced his team live on French TV channel TF1 on Thursday night
The France squad for the World Cup was confirmed on Twitter after the live TV announcement
Martial will be disappointed but perhaps not surprised at his omission after his drop in form at Manchester United up to the end of the season. The 22-year-old has been in and out of Jose Mourinho’s team and has not scored or assisted a goal since February.
The news may have come as more of a shock to Arsenal striker Lacazette, who was in good form for the Gunners in the latter stages of the season, scoring five in his last seven starts and assisting once.
However, there was incredible competition for places in France’s attacking squad and Lacazette’s role as an out-and-out striker went against him. With Griezmann — a diminutive speedster — and Giroud — a tall target-man — both offering more unique attributes, the decision to leave Lacazette on ice became clear.
Olivier Giroud (left) was chosen ahead of his former Arsenal team-mate Lacazette
Benjamin Mendy was named in the squad despite missing most of the season through injury
Deschamps has showed a lot of faith in picking Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy. The left back spent the vast majority of the season on the sidelines with a knee injury and has not started a match since September.
He did, however, make his return in April and made four appearances from the bench to help Pep Guardiola’s team to reach 100 points in the Premier League.
N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) and Paul Pogba (Manchester United) complete Premier League involvement in the French squad while Kurt Zouma (Chelsea), Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace) and Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham) were named on the reserve list.
There was also bad news for former West Ham star Dimitri Payet, who was left off the list entirely after suffering a thigh injury in Wednesday’s Europa League final. The midfielder left the pitch in tears after half an hour, and was later seen in tears again as Atletico lifted the trophy following a 3-0 win.
Marseille midfielder Dimitri Payet leaves the pitch in tears as he is substituted off due to injury
Although the severity of his injury is yet to be confirmed, doubts over his fitness and the availability of other players of a similar quality meant Deschamps did not have to take the risk.
His Marseille team-mate Florian Thauvin was included in the squad after a fantastic season for the Ligue 1 club. Famous for his failed spell at Newcastle, Thauvin has flourished this term, scoring 22 goals and providing 11 assists in the league alone.
France are among the favourites to win the World Cup this summer and should find easy passage into the knockout rounds after drawing Australia, Denmark and Peru in the group stages.
FRANCE WORLD CUP SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Areola, Lloris, Mandanda
Defenders: Hernandez, Kimpembe, Mendy, Pavard, Rami, Sidibe, Umtiti, Varane.
Midfielders: Kante, Matuidi, N’Zonzi, Pogba, Tolisso
Forwards: O. Dembele, Fekir, Giroud, Griezmann, Lemar, Mbappe, Thauvin.
Ben Yedder, Coman, Costil, Debuchy, Digne, Lacazette, Martial, Rabiot, Sakho, Sissoko, Zouma.
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.