France national team manager Didier Deschamps has revealed why he opted to haul defender Raphael Varane off so early in the country’s latest outing.
Les Bleus were of course back in action on Friday night.
Having long booked their spot at the 2022 World Cup, Deschamps’ troops welcomed the Côte d’Ivoire to the Stade Velodrome, for a friendly matchup.
And, when all was said and done, despite the evening’s visitors providing an impressive account of themselves, France’s quality proved telling, en route to an eventual 2-1 triumph.
After Nicolas Pepe’s Ivory Coast opener was swiftly cancelled out by the returning Olivier Giroud early on, the world champions’ turnaround was completed deep into injury-time, when Man of the Match Aurelien Tchouameni rose highest to nod home Matteo Guendouzi’s corner kick from the right:
Tchouaméni wins it for France in the 92nd minute vs. Ivory Coast! pic.twitter.com/D6CzVlcF2a
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 25, 2022
As alluded to above, though, on an otherwise positive evening for France on Friday, one concern was forthcoming in the form of Raphael Varane’s early departure from proceedings.
The Manchester United star was hauled off just shy of the hour mark, in the process affording Arsenal starlet William Saliba a first senior appearance for Les Bleus.
William Saliba remplace Raphaël Varane.
1️⃣̀ ́ pour le marseillais, dans son stade
— Equipe de France ⭐⭐ (@equipedefrance) March 25, 2022
Speaking on the back of the action coming to a close at the Stade Velodrome, Didier Deschamps was therefore inevitably asked for an update on Varane’s wellbeing.
And France’s boss went on to reveal that the stopper picked up ‘a small problem with his foot’ during the clash, the extent of which has not yet been made clear:
Didier Deschamps has said that Raphaël Varane has a “small problem with his foot” after being subbed off against Ivory Coast. [@MUnitedFR]
— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) March 25, 2022