N’Golo Kante dropped from France squad as Chelsea duo Giroud, Zouma earn return to team

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has been left out of Didier Deschamp’s 23-man squad for two upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers, after Chelsea boss Frank Lampard implored France to drop him amid concerns over several injury setbacks.

Kante has been having injury challenges since the tail end of last season, and was subsequently benched for the Premier League opener at Manchester United after falling short in a race to be fit.

He has made a handful of appearances under Lampard so far, but missed out entirely on the trip to Norwich because of a sprained ankle picked up at Old Trafford.

The string of concerns led to the new Blues boss appealing to Deschamps to allow Kante to remain at the club and continue rehabilitation during the international break.

‘It is a difficult one. He has had four years of constantly playing,’ Lampard had said.

‘[The] injury from the Europa League final has affected his pre-season. Then he hurt himself against Man United.

‘We are trying to get him through it. The international break will be great for him to get the injury right. It would be great for everybody [if Kante stays] because he’s been playing game after game after game.’

Meanwhile, Kante’s teammates at Chelsea, Olivier Giroud and Kurt Zouma were handed a call-up to the Les Bleus squad.

France take on Albania and Andorra in successive Euro 2020 qualifiers next month, with Les Bleus currently sitting at the summit of Group H.