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ARSENAL’S GUENDOUZI REPLACES POGBA IN FRANCE SQUAD

Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has been handed his first France call-up, replacing Manchester United’s Paul Pogba in Didier Deschamps’ squad.

Guendouzi, who has previously represented his country at every youth level from Under-18 up, will be hoping to debut when France take on Albania and Andorra in Euro 2020 qualifiers.

A statement on Twitter read: “Injured at the ankle, @paulpogba is replaced by @MatteoGuendouzi for matches against Albania and Andorra on 7 and 10 September at the Stade de France. Good recovery Paul.

Pogba had scans on his ankle in Manchester on Monday morning which led to him withdrawing from Deschamps’ squad for the upcoming international break. There is not yet any information apropos the length of time Pogba faces sidelined, however.

Guendouzi’s debut senior call-up comes the day after he put in a superb performance for Arsenal in their 2-2 north London derby draw with Tottenham.

The 20-year-old midfielder was widely regarded as the Gunners’ standout performer on Sunday, as he showed the composure in the middle of the park required to drag Unai Emery’s side back into the match when they fell two goals behind.

Guendouzi joined Arsenal last summer for a rumoured £7million, making the step up to the Premier League despite playing only a single season of senior football, in France’s Ligue 2.

His lack of experience did little to hamper his debut season in north London, as the youngster made 48 appearances in all competitions, scoring one goal.

Guendouzi has started this campaign in even finer fettle, starting each of Arsenal’s four games so far and now making the step up to senior international football.

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