Payet gets France nod
Uncapped Saint Etienne star Dimitri Payet has been called up for France's forthcoming Euro qualifiers.
Last Updated: 30/09/10 4:07pm
Uncapped Saint Etienne star Dimitri Payet has been called up for France's forthcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers against Romania and Luxembourg.
France coach Laurent Blanc has given the attacking midfielder the nod thanks to his great form this season, scoring seven goals in as many league games to help Saint Etienne to top Ligue 1 for the first time since 1982.
Blanc believes the 23-year-old deserves his chance to try and force himself into the team to take on Romania on 9th October and Luxembourg three days later.
He said: "He (Payet) is showing the talent people have been talking about for a few seasons now.
"It's the right time for him to come into the squad. Now it's up to him to earn his place."
Payet, who can play on either wing or through the middle, is relishing the opportunity of joining up with the France squad.
"It's only a start for me and I will have to work hard to impose myself," he said.
Blanc has also recalled Lyon playmaker Yoann Gourcuff, who was suspended for the opening qualifying defeat to Belarus and was then not included in the squad for the 2-0 away win in Bosnia.
Despite Lyon struggling in the relegation zone, Blanc is confident of helping Gourcuff find his best form.
"He's lucky that I know him much better than other players, and I know what he's capable of," said Blanc, who coached Gourcuff when Bordeaux won the title two seasons ago.
Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri, injured for the opening two qualifiers, has also been called up, but Blanc has again left out Lyon midfielder Jeremy Toulalan, saying he prefers to give younger players their chance for now.
The France coach is still unsure who will be his long-term captain after trying Alou Diarra, Philippe Mexes and Florent Malouda in the role since taking over from Raymond Domenech after France's disastrous World Cup campaign.
"You have to judge the person who is competent for the role," Blanc said. "I need a bit of time."
The coach admits he is still finding his way after losing two of his three opening games, including a friendly against Norway.
"What's amazing in football is that everything can change in three days, from one extreme to the other," he said. "The biggest problem we have is creating a core within the team. We don't have the players at our disposal every day."
Carrasso (Bordeaux), Lloris (Lyon), Mandanda (Marseille); Clichy (Arsenal), Mexes (AS Roma), Rami (Lille), Sagna (Arsenal), Sakho (Paris Saint-Germain), Tremoulinas (Bordeaux); Diaby (Arsenal), A Diarra (Bordeaux), L Diarra (Real Madrid), Gourcuff (Lyon), Mvila (Rennes), Malouda (Chelsea), Matuidi (Saint-Etienne), Nasri (Arsenal), Valbuena (Marseille); Benzema (Real Madrid), Gameiro (Lorient), Hoarau (Paris Saint-Germain), Payet (Saint-Etienne), Remy (Marseille).