Didier Deschamps hints at why he won’t replace Karim Benzema with Kylian Mbappe plan

by | 21 November, 2022 | Ligue 1 News

Mbappe and Giroud are both set to start in attack for France at the World Cup

Mbappe and Giroud are both set to start in attack for France at the World Cup

Didier Deschamps has explained the new role of Kylian Mbappe in the France national team for the World Cup after an injury ruled Karim Benzema out of the tournament.

Benzema – the Ballon d’Or winner for 2022 – was set to partner Mbappe in attack for Les Bleus in this year’s tournament with Antoine Griezmann expected to play behind the front two. However, Deschamps has now had to re-jig his team.

The absence of Real Madrid striker Benzema means that former Arsenal and Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud is now set to take a central attacking role for the tournament holders with Mbappe now anticipated to shift to the left side of attack, as has been trialled in training sessions.

There are no shortage of attacking options for Deschamps despite the absences of Benzema and Christopher Nkunku, with Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele in the frame for a starting role alongside Kingsley Coman of Bayern Munich. Eintracht Frankfurt striker Randal Kolo Muani and Marcus Thuram of Borussia Monchengladbach are also in the squad.

Deschamps has now spoken on Telefoot, as per GFFN, to outline how he plans to utilise Mbappe without Benzema available to play alongside him. Giroud is more of an attacking focal point, which will allow the Paris Saint-Germain superstar to drop a little deeper and run into space, rather than be tasked with holding up the ball.

The France boss has said that Mbappe is a striker “who needs freedom” and despite the fact he would be given defensive responsibilities, these would not be the same as his teammates – with the 23-year-old instead encouraged to maintain his focus on attack and utilising his direct pace to damage opponents.

This is a different role than Mbappe has at club level with PSG, where he operates in a central role and without any other player further forward in attack. The striker has recently outlined how he enjoys the “freedom” he is afforded at international level ahead of what his club afford him.

Mbappe told reporters after September’s victory over Austria: “How they ask me to play here is different. With France, I have much more freedom than at PSG. The coach knows that there is a ‘9’ like Giroud and I can move and go to the space that creates. In Paris it is different, they ask me to play pivot.” The striker was then asked if he enjoyed playing with the national team, to which he replied: “Of course. I enjoy myself everywhere.”

[Source: mirror.co.uk]