Football

Eduardo Camavinga, 17, in line for France debut: Didier Deschamps

France intend to give 17-year-old Eduardo Camavinga his first caps over the next week when they meet Sweden and Croatia in the Nations League, coach Didier Deschamps said yesterday.

The midfielder, who earned rave reviews in his first full Ligue 1 season with Rennes, received a call-up for Sunday morning's (Singapore time) match in Stockholm and next Wednesday's clash at the Stade de France, following Paul Pogba's withdrawal after testing positive for Covid-19.

You obviously have to manage him because he's young and this call-up has come quickly. But, from the moment he's in the squad, he's supposed to be able to play just as much as everyone else. He will therefore be managed like any other player and he will get playing time," Deschamps told a news conference.

"Despite his young age, he is very confident," Deschamps said of the Angolan-born player, who obtained French nationality last year.

Deschamps also suggested Camavinga stood a good chance of making the squad for next year's European Championship. "Calling him up for these games makes him one of the players likely to be in the list of 23," the World Cup-winning coach added.

French international Steven Nzonzi, Camavinga's new midfield partner at Rennes, said of the teen: "He knows how to make the difference individually. He is good defensively and offensively, he is complete.

"There will be two of us in the French team, it's good for him." - REUTERS

Football