Marseille winger Dimitri Payet was called up Monday by France coach Didier Deschamps for upcoming matches against Iceland and Germany as a replacement for the injured Nabil Fekir. Payet missed the World Cup because of injury and has not played with the national squad since a 2-1 win over Belarus in qualifying last October.
Payet, the French league’s top playmaker last season, was widely expected to travel to Russia but was eventually left out of the squad that won the World Cup. He was injured during Marseille’s Europa League final loss to Atletico Madrid.
Having recovered from his thigh injury, Payet has been in very good form since the start of the new season, scoring four goals and delivering four assists in nine games. “He has a big influence on the way his team plays,” Deschamps said. “He scores, and he makes others score, too. This is what you expect from a creative player.”
Fekir picked up a left ankle injury on Sunday with his club Lyon in a 5-0 loss at Paris Saint-Germain. The French soccer federation said in a statement on Monday that he underwent exams at France’s training camp and that he will miss both games.
France plays Iceland in a friendly on Thursday and hosts Germany in the UEFA Nations League on Oct. 16 at Stade de France.
Germany calls up Emre Can after Havertz, Ruediger drop out
Germany coach Joachim Loew called up midfielder Emre Can for the upcoming UEFA Nations League games in the Netherlands and France after Kai Havertz and Antonio Ruediger dropped out on Monday. Havertz has a bruised knee and needs to sit out training for the next few days, while Ruediger has groin problems, the German soccer federation said.
Forward Marco Reus is also out as a precaution despite an MRI scan showing his knee was injury free. Reus played in all 10 of Borussia Dortmund’s games this season, nine for the full game. Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan and Freiburg forward Nils Petersen were already out with injuries.
Germany plays the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Tuesday and World Cup champion France in Paris three days later. The Germans drew 0-0 with France in their Nations League opener in Munich four weeks ago.