France's insane depth summed up in this reject's XI


France announces 23-man FIFA World Cup squad

France coach Didier Deschamps had the pain-staking task of whittling down France's star-studded generation to a 23-man squad for the FIFA World Cup in Russia.

This starting XI of stars who didn't make the cut would stand up against any of the nations headed to Russia next month.

Reject's XI

GK: Benoit Costil, Bordeaux

Costil has been an ever-present figure between the sticks for Bordeaux this season, missing just two Ligue 1 fixtures. The 30 year-old could certainly hold his own in Russia, but had to make way for Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda and Alphonse Areola.

LCB: Mamadou Sakho, Cyrstal Palace

After a tough spell at Liverpool, Mamadou Sakho is getting back to his best at Crystal Palace with glimpses of the form which made him one of Europe's most promising young defenders in 2013.

The 28 year-old may be back to the form which earned him a spot in France's 2014 FIFA World Cup squad, but Sakho's revival seems to have arrived too late. 

CB: Aymeric Laporte, Manchester City

Manchester City's most-expensive defender Aymeric Laporte will be forced to watch the FIFA World Cup from home, a testament to the frightening depth at France's disposal.

Despite his undeniable talent, the $A102 million man struggled to hold down a regular starting spot for Manchester City this season and the 23 year-old's lack of match-fitness may have cost him a seat on the plane to Russia.

RCB: Kurt Zouma, Chelsea

Kurt Zouma signed a bumper deal with Chelsea in 2014 after starring for Saint-Etienne, but a horror knee injury blighted the defender's development at Stamford Bridge.

He may not be as well known as some of the other stars on this list, but plenty of national teams would jump at the chance to take the 23 year-old in their squad. 

CM: Adrian Rabiot, Paris Saint-Germain

Rabiot has cemented his place at the heart of PSG's star-studded midfield this season bringing composure, assured passing and the odd goal to the Ligue 1 champion this season.

Many fans were left bemused when Deschamps left the 23 year-old out of his squad, opting for Sevilla midfielder Steven Nzonzi instead.

CM: Moussa Sissoko, Tottenham Hotspur

Sissoko made 33 Premier League appearances for Tottenham last season, plus he was one of France's best players at UEFA Euro 2016. Unfortunately that wasn't enough to earn the 28 year-old a spot in France's glittering midfield.

LW: Anthony Martial, Manchester United

Manchester United made Anthony Martial the most expensive teenager in history when he signed from Monaco in 2015, but the winger has struggled in periods to hold down a regular starting spot. 

The 22 year-old has seemingly turned his fortunes around at Old Trafford this season, second to Romelu Lukaku on the club's top goalscorer list this season. Martial is no stranger to the international stage either, with 18 caps for Les Bleus since making his debut in 2015.  

RW: Kingsley Coman, Bayern Munich

Kingsley Coman already has 13 major trophies trophies to his name, and he's still only 21. The Bayern Munich winger is one of the hottest young prospects in world football with blistering pace and technique which leaves the world's best defenders for dead.

Coman is well within his right to feel hard done by, but in a squad boasting the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe Ousmane Dembele and Thomas Lemar, something had to give.

FW: Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal

Alexandre Lacazette was the most devastating striker in Ligue 1 for years with Lyon, which earned the 26 year-old an $A84 million move to Arsenal at the start of the season.

The striker has made an impressive start for the Gunners in his debut campaign, topping the club's goalscorer chart despite sporadic game time with the big-money capture of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January.

Lacazette's arrival in North London spelled the end for Olivier Giroud, who moved to Chelsea in search of regular game time and ironically, it was Giroud who won the race for a spot in Russia.

FW: Karim Benzema, Real Madrid

Karim Benzema needs no introduction, he's one of the world's best strikers leading the line for one of the world's biggest clubs.

But the Real Madrid star's public fallout with France boss Didier Deschamps over the Mathieu Valbuena sex tape scandal has left Benzema in international exile since 2015.

The 30 year-old scored two goals in his last game for Les Bleus, a 4-0 win over Armenia in October 2015 but its unlikely Benzema will ever get back in the international fold while Deschamps is in charge.

FW: Wissam Ben Yedder, Sevilla

Ben Yedder has enjoyed a breakout season at Sevilla as the club's top goalscorer and top scorer in the Copa Del Rey.

The 27 year-old fired Sevilla to the UEFA Champions League quarter finals for the first time in 60 years by scoring two goals in four minutes against Manchester United.

This season, Ben Yedder proved he's more than capable of delivering on the big stage, with 10 goals in 11 UEFA Champions League appearances.