Alexandre Lacazette is on fire for Arsenal yet he has, once again, been left out of the France side by Didier Deschamps who says it’s down to ‘competition’ for places amid ongoing reports its more to do with personality politics.
“There is competition for each position”, Deschamps said at his press conference. “When the players who were at the World Cup are performing well… It is not a question of type of player, but of position. I need balance in the squad and he is a central attacker. He must continue.”
Lacazette has not played for France since a friendly against Germany in November 2017. In that game, he scored both of France’s goals yet his entire international career amounts to only 624 minutes.
That seems a remarkably low number for a player who scored 100 league goals (with 32 assists) in 203 games for Lyon and has 18 (with seven assists) in 40 for Arsenal. Overall, he has a career total of 151 goals and 51 assists in 324 games.
On a Daily Cannon podcast special, French football expert, Lana Dawood spoke about the issues Deschamps has with Lacazette and it certainly has nothing to do with his form on the pitch as stats seem to back this opinion up. You can listen in the players below or in all good podcast apps.
Historically, Deschamps has opted against using Lacazette.
Descamps has taken charge of 85 matches for his country since he was appointed manager in 2012. He has selected Lacazette 19 times (played him 16) despite him scoring 17 goals in his first season in England that also included a knee surgery, 37 goals the season before he joined Arsenal, 23 the season before, 31 in 14/15 and 22 in 13/14.
Olivier Giroud, meanwhile, has been selected by Didier Deschamps 73 times. Karim Benzema, who hasn’t been selected by France since October 2015, was selected 32 times by Deschamps before external factors forced the manager’s hand.
Last season (17/18), Lacazette, despite suffering a knee problem and playing in a new country at a new club in a new league, averaged a goal or assist every 125 minutes. Giroud, who has one goal for Chelsea and France in his last 22 appearances, every 143.
Deschamps’ other forwards are Antoine Griezmann (4 in 11 this season), who desperately wanted to play with Lacazette at Atletico Madrid, Kylian Mbappe (10 in 7), Olivier Giroud (0 in 8), Ousmane Dembele (5 in 10), Florian Thauvin (7 in 10), and Thomas Lemar (1 in 11). Nabil Fekir (3 in 8) was called up but has withdrawn through injury, being replaced by Dimitri Payet (5 in 11).
Alexandre Lacazette has 5 goals in 10 appearances this season and if you include his last five games of last season, when he hit form after recovering from his knee problem, he has 9 in 15 with 4 assists.
But sure, Didier, he’s not a central attacker that you need.