Defending champion France is in shock: World star Karim Benzema (34) from Real Madrid is injured for the World Cup.
National coach Didier Deschamps (54) can register a replacement for his 26-man squad until Monday. Should Deschamps not vacate the spot, a Bundesliga star would be a logical replacement for Benzema: Moussa Diaby (23).
What are the chances of the Leverkusen winger?
Diaby is traded as a replacement alongside Wissam Ben Yedder (32/Monaco), Martin Terrier (25/Rennes) and Anthony Martial (26/ManUnited). The eight-time senior international played for “Les Bleus” on June 10 in the 1-1 draw against Austria in the Nations League.
Despite recent strong performances in the Bundesliga, Diaby missed out on the World Cup call-up. Leverkusen’s sports boss Simon Rolfes (40) said: “Moussa would have been nominated for any other national team in the world and would probably also be in the starting XI. But with the French it’s unbelievable what quality they have up front and also in defence, masses of world-class players. That’s why it’s a shame for him, but also a special incentive: If he manages to get in there, he’s made another giant step.”
Even after Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku (25) was injured, Diaby was not taken into account, instead Frankfurt’s storm newcomer Randal Kolo Muani (23) received the Qatar ticket. It is possible that Bayer attacker Diaby will come to the World Cup on the third attempt. It would be the reward he deserved: In the 2022 calendar year, the Leverkusen professional was the second-best scorer in the Bundesliga behind compatriot Nkunku (25/8) with 14 goals and nine assists. He has scored six goals (all under new coach Xabi Alonso) and set up three this season. In addition, Diaby is the fastest player of the season, measured at 36.52 km/h.
Last Thursday, Diaby played for 45 minutes in Bayer’s friendly against St. Louis City SC (3-0). After returning from the US trip in Leverkusen, he is currently on vacation and wanted to relax in Paris with his family.
Whether he can jet to Qatar now will be decided in the near future.