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France coach Deschamps calls up teenage forward Martial for Portugal and Serbia friendlies

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PARIS — France coach Didier Deschamps included Monaco's teenage forward Anthony Martial in Thursday's 23-man squad for next month's friendly matches against Portugal and Serbia.

It is a first senior international call-up for the 19-year-old Martial, who has played at all youth levels for France.

"He is a young player but his attributes interest me in an area of the game where it's not easy to find his skills of power and speed," Deschamps said. "He has interesting potential and I want to see how he gets on as part of the group."

Deschamps left out defender Mamadou Sakho, who has yet to make an appearance for Liverpool this season.

"He is an important player who finds himself in a difficult sporting situation," the France coach said. "To play international matches when he has not played for his club for more than a month ... it's complicated.

"I hope his situation will improve."

There is also no place for midfielder Dimitri Payet after disappointing performances since his move to West Ham from Marseille in the summer.

"I expected better, I expected more," Deschamps said. "It's not a punishment, I'll continue to follow him."

France, which will host next year's European Championship, plays Portugal in Lisbon on Sept. 4 before hosting Serbia in Bordeaux three days later.


Squad:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Stephane Ruffier (Saint-Etienne)

Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy (Arsenal), Patrice Evra (Juventus), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City), Bacary Sagna (Manchester City), Benoit Tremoulinas (Sevilla), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea).

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace), Geoffrey Kondogbia (Inter Milan), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle).

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Anthony Martial (Monaco), Mathieu Valbuena (Lyon).

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