He will celebrate his third selection. And his second tenure in three matches after his exit against South Africa last March (5-0). Didier Deschamps announced it this Sunday: Mike Maignan will be in goal for the France team against Croatia in Split in the Nations League this Monday in place of Hugo Lloris. “Hugo remains the number 1, the holder, but tomorrow (Monday) Mike will have the opportunity to have playing time“, summed up the boss of the Blues at a press conference at the Poljud stadium on the eve of the meeting.
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To hear Didier Deschamps, it was written when Lloris prevented the Blues from taking the water on Friday against Denmark (1-2), even if some pointed to his footwork. “It was already planned at the beginning of the week (that he is starting), Hugo was asked for all club matches, from the moment there are four matches, it is an opportunity to be able to distribute“, launched the coach of the Blues while announcing that Presnel Kimpembe will wear the armband in the absence of the former Lyonnais.
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That Mike has a very good kicking game, yes, but I’m not going to get into your interpretation
If Didier Deschamps plays the rotation card for this atypical gathering with four games in 10 days, seeing him replace his captain is however not really in his habits, even less for an official match. In 2021, Lloris (35 years old and 137 selections) had thus played all the meetings of the France team. But in 2022, it turns so far. And Mike Maignan, now well established as number 2 goalkeeper for the France team, finds himself with more opportunities to show his formidable qualities in the blue jersey.
Reigning Italian champion for his first season at AC Milan, the one who was voted best goalkeeper in Serie A after having multiplied high-flying performances and clean sheets (16 out of 31 Serie A matches) will thus be able to play his first official match with the world champions. At 26 years old. “It’s not against Hugo, launched Deschamps who was questioned on the fact that the game at the foot of Maignan could help solidify the defense of the Blues. That Mike has a very good kicking game, yes, but I’m not going to go into your interpretation which would imply a lot of things.”
Mike Maignan in training on June 5 in Split on the eve of Croatia-France in the League of Nations
Credit: Getty Images
Clearly, do not seek to overinterpret this choice. Didier Deschamps has no intention of upsetting his hierarchy of goalkeepers before the World Cup in Qatar. As he showed on Friday, Lloris continues to perform when he finds himself in the French cage. And he keeps all the confidence of his coach.
But the day the question arises or in the event of injury, Mike Maignan currently has the number 1 candidate profile. So you might as well give him opportunities to already take the pulse of what this may entail… “Mike has been with us for a long time and only played one full game and one half.“, moreover recalled Deschamps, eager to logically harden his number 2, perhaps called one day to another destiny.
Lucas Hernandez and Hugo Lloris after the defeat of the Blues against Denmark
Credit: Getty Images
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