Griezmann not irreplaceable for France, says Deschamps

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The Atletico Madrid striker has been in superb form at international level in recent months, but his manager is confident his absence will merely allow others to shine.

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France head coach Didier Deschamps insists Antoine Griezmann is not an irreplaceable member of his team.

The Atletico Madrid forward left the national team camp to return to Spain after suffering a foot injury in the 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Sweden.

Deschamps agrees that Griezmann – the top scorer at Euro 2016 – has developed into a leading light for France, but he is confident that his absence from Tuesday’s friendly against Ivory Coast will give others the chance to impress.

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“Nobody is irreplaceable,” he told a news conference. “Antoine is very important for us, he made himself essential to this France team. But he is not here.

“I didn’t call someone up [to replace him] because it didn’t make much sense, just two days before the game. I’ve already had some changes to make. I am confident with the 22 players available.

“I hope he will be available in the future. The team will be different without him, but even if Antoine is an important and decisive player, there are other players who will have the opportunity to prove themselves.”

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A victory for France will set a new record of 14 wins in a calendar year, and defender Raphael Varane believes such a feat would underline an encouraging year for Les Bleus.

“It’s indicative of a good year for the team,” said the Real Madrid man. “It’s not a goal but it’s a like a little extra.

“It’s what we want, to finish on a positive note so it will be a little extra. But that is not at all an objective.”

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