Ibrahima Konate has earned his first senior call-up (Picture: Getty Images)

Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate has been called up to the senior France squad by Didier Deschamps for the first time.

The centre-back replaces Manchester United’s Raphael Varane, who has been forced to withdraw through injury.

Varane suffered a hamstring injury during France’s surprise Nations League defeat to Denmark on Friday night and had to be taken off in the second half.

Raphael Varane went off injured in the defeat to Denmark (Picture: Getty Images)

Konate, who has enjoyed an impressive debut season for Liverpool, will get the chance to impress for Les Bleus.

France face Croatia twice and Austria in the Nations League all in quick succession in June.

William Saliba had initially been selected ahead of Konate, with Deschamps explaining the Arsenal loanee has more experience playing in a back three.

‘Yes, I’m following [Konate], he’s in a team which is competing in the Champions League final and for the title in England,’ Deschamps said.

‘But since he’s been at Liverpool, he’s mostly played in a 4-man defence. And there is competition [in the France team].’

‘I brought William [Saliba] last time and he always plays in a back 3. It’s either one or the other, it’s very competitive, and that’s very good – it allows for the veterans to not get too comfortable.’


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