Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette has pulled out of the France squad for their upcoming internationals – just hours after being enlisted as cover by the World Cup winners.
The 27-year-old was left-out of Didier Deschamps‘ plans when the 23-man party to face Netherland and Uruguay was unveiled last Thursday.
But the withdrawal of Manchester United pair Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial saw Lacazette called-up alongside Tottenham’s Moussa Sissoko.
Just two hours later, though, France have confirmed that the Gunners marksman will not answer the call of his country following discussions between his country and club’s medical officials.
“This decision was taken after an exchange between Dr. Franck Le Gall and his counterparts at Arsenal,” a statement on Twitter read on Monday.
Alassane Plea, the Borussia Monchengladbach forward who has scored eight goals in 11 Bundesliga appearances this season including a hat-trick during the weekend win over Werder Bremen, has been selected for his maiden international call-up as a result.
Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy has joined Lacazette in pulling out of France’s concluding games of the year, with Lyon full-back Ferland Mendy recruited for his first senior international call-up.
However, the withdrawal of Lacazette extends his wait for an international return, with his last outing for his country coming in a friendly against Germany last November.
Lacazette has enjoyed a decent start to his second season at Arsenal scoring five goals in nine Premier League starts for Uni Emery’s side.
Upon being left out of France’s last squad for October’s international fixtures, Deschamps said Lacazette remained down the pecking order.
“It is true that he is having a good early season where he is efficient and effective,” said the Les Bleus boss.
“There is competition in this position and for the moment the players I selected for the World Cup, I continue to rely on them.
“It is not a question of profile, but I am not going to pick multiple players in the same position.
“It is also necessary to have a balanced squad and he is a central attacker.
“This does not take away the credit for what he does. He must continue.”
Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann are the central strikers selected to face Netherlands in Rotterdam in the UEFA Nations League on Friday and Uruguay in a friendly in Paris next Tuesday.