Arsenal frontman Alexandre Lacazette and Manchester United forward Anthony Martial have both been left out of France’s 23-man squad for the World Cup.
Both men have instead been named on coach Didier Deschamps’ standby list, meaning they could still make it to Russia if an injury arises among the squad’s forward ranks.
The duo are joined on the standby list by the likes of Mamadou Sakho, Moussa Sissoko and Kurt Zouma, who all missed out on a direct path to the World Cup as well.
Lacazette was capped six times by France last year but could not make the cut, as France currently suffer an embarrassment of riches up front.
As for Martial, failing to secure a starting spot in the Manchester United line-up this season clearly did him little favours.
The seven forwards who were included in the France squad are:
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Kylian Mbappe (Paris St Germain)
Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona)
Olivier Giroud (Chelsea)
Thomas Lemar (Monaco)
Nabil Fekir (Olympique Lyonnais)
Florian Thauvin (Olympique de Marseille)
Of those seven players, perhaps former Newcastle player Florian Thauvin might consider himself the luckiest man to make the cut ahead of the likes of Lacazette and Martial.
Asked about Martial and Lacazette missing out on selection, Deschamps told the press: “I know you’re asking me questions about who is not here, and people are going to ask them again, but I’ve already answered them.
“Two years have passed, I’ve stuck with the players who responded to my trust. I put the group on top of everything and from there, I make choices that in my opinion are for the good of the France team.”
Also set to miss the tournament is Marseille star Dimitri Payet, after he limped out of Wednesday’s Europa League final defeat to Atletico Madrid.
“He was a serious candidate for a place in the 23 but for this kind of injury it’s usually three weeks of recovery,” said Deschamps. “And there is a risk of hurting yourself again with this kind of injury and I must give my final list to FIFA on June 4.”
France World Cup squad:
Goalkeepers: Alphone Areola (Paris St Germain), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Mandanda (Olympique de Marseille)
Defenders: Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris St Germain), Benjamin Pavard (VfB Stuttgart), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Adil Rami (Olympique de Marseille), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)
Midfielders: Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Steven N’Zonzi (Sevilla), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich)
Forwards: Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (Paris St Germain), Thomas Lemar (Monaco), Nabil Fekir (Olympique Lyonnais), Florian Thauvin (Olympique de Marseille), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona)