Giroud is the only recognised senior striker in the France squad following Benzema’s withdrawal, and Deschamps may regret both not calling up a replacement for the Real Madrid star and also appearing to reject the idea that the Ballon d’Or winner could return to the final.
This week Deschamps struggled to answer a question on whether Benzema, who wasn’t replaced after withdrawing from the squad, would come back to Qatar for the final. When it appeared that he would be staying at home, Benzema posted a picture on Instagram captioned: “Not interested.”
Deschamps insisted that it was “awkward” to talk about the likes of Benzema returning to the squad ahead of the game. “I have players who have been injured before,” he explained. “Karim is one of them. The last to be injured is Lucas Hernandez. Since then, I have 24 players to manage. Asking the question vis-a-vis these players, it’s awkward to say the least, if not a little more. The group is there.”